Skip to main content

Full text of "Works of the Right Rev. Bishop Hay of Edinburgh"

See other formats






-^aifU^Oj fTf G •■■aiJCr^J^SA 

^Aie^^f- If, 

h'-r-Hlrt y-y^ 









VOL. I. 









A Short Account of the Right Rev. George Hay, D.D., xiii. 



His nature, 5. His infinite perfection, ib. ; power, 6 ; wisdom, ib. ; 
goodness, 7 ; justice, ib. ; mercy, 8 ; holiness, 9 ; truth, ib. ; beauty, 
ib. His eternity, 10; immensity, 11; incomprehensibility, ib. ; immu- 
tability, 12. 



The term defined, 14. The Unity of God, ib. His Unity and His 
Trinity in Unity proved from Scripture, 14-16. In what the three per- 
sons of the Trinity distinct, 16-18. The Son and Holy Ghost both 
truly God, 18, 19. The Divine nature the same in all the three persons, 
19. This doctrine a subject for faith alone, ib. 



God, Creator and Sovereign Lord, 20. Creation defined, ib. The 
creation of the world, 21. God's end therein, ib. His preser%'ing 
care and sovereign power, 22-26. His Providence, definition of, 26 ; 
incapable of error or failure, 27 ; all things overruled by, 27-29 ; how 
manifested by God for the good of His creatiures, 29-31 ; its relation 
to the evils of sin and suffering, 31-42. 




Their rank in creation, and man's, 43. God's end in the creation of 
His otlier creatures, ib. The nature of the angels, ib. In what state 
and for what end created, 43, 44. The sin of those who fell, and its 
consequences, 44. Scriptural account of their original perfection and 
fall, 45, 46. 



The nature of man, 47. God's end in his creation, ib. His creation 
of our first parents, 47, 48. Their original state of innocence, grace, and 
happiness, 48-50. Their fall through transgression of the Divine com- 
mand, and Scriptural account thereof, 50-52. The consequences, 52-54. 



The reconcihation of man with God possible to God alone, 55, 56. 
His compassion for man, 56, 57. When the promise of a Redeemer 
first made, 57 ; when fulfilled, ib. The condition of mankind in the in- 
terval, 57-60. The Divine favour towards the Jews, 60-63. Their condi- 
tion and that of the rest of mankind at the coming of the Redeemer, 
63, 64. The revelation of Divine truths through Him, and their nature, 
64-66. His principal offices, 66. His name, 67. 



Knowledge of Him necessary to salvation, 68. True God and true 
man, 68-70. His self-subjection to human infirmities, 70, 71. To what 
His mission due, 71, 72. His incarnation, 72-74. The union in Him 
of the Divine and human natures, 74-76. His relation to the blessed 
Virgin, 76, -]■]. 




His office defined, 78. His birth, 78-80. His infancy, youth, and 
early manhood, 80. His public life, 80-83. ^is passion, death, and 
burial, 83-85. The descent of His soul into Limbo, 85-92. His resur- 
rection, 92-96. His ascension, 96-98. His dignities of name, 98 ; as 
King, ib. ; as Head of the Church, 99, loo-iii; as Judge, 100, ni- 



Their nature and effect through the merits of Christ, 126. The value 
and reward of His merits, 126-129. The benefits individually — viz.. His 
satisfaction and propitiation, 129- 131 ; redemption, 131-136 ; impetra- 
tion, 136-141. His merits in relation to the salvation of mankind, 141- 



Definition of faith in general, 144. Faith Divine and human, 145. 
Their relative certainty, ib. Divine faith, how described in Scripture, 
145, 146. Faith in Christ defined, 146. His office as our heavenly 
teacher, 146, 147. The character of His doctrine, 147. The necessity 
of belief therein, and in Himself to salvation, and how those before His 
coming saved, 147-151. The means of our knowledge of the nature of 
His revealed truths, 151. 



By whom a rule of faith left, 152. Its essential properties, whence 
shown, 152, 153. Its necessity, 153. The Protestant as distinguished 
from the Catholic rule, 153, 154. How the true rule to be determined, 
154. The character of the written Word alone, as a rule of faith, and 
the consequence, 154-158. That of the Catholic rule or written Word as 
interpreted by the Church, 158-163. The Church, therefore, the rule, 
163, 164. Farther direct proofs of this, and how these more fully ap- 
pear, 164. Tradition treated, 165-174. Importance of knowledge of 
the Church, 174. What the Apostles' Creed proves concerning her, 
174. 175- 




The Church of Christ defined, 176. In what her members one, 176, 
177. Of whom composed, and their relations to each other, 177-183. 
Her supreme Head, 183. Her visible Head on earth, 184-187. Her 
doctrinal infaUibility, 187, 188. That of her visible Head alone, 188- 
194. The consequences that follow from the reasoning of this and the 
preceding chapter as respects the Church herself, and those out of her 
communion, 194-196. How she is to be distinguished, 196. 



The Church of Christ essentially one, 197, 198 ; holy, 198, 199 ; 
catholic, 199-202 ; apostolical, 202-204 ; perpetual in duration and 
infallible, 204-206. All these required marks found in the Catholic 
Church alone, 206-214. That, therefore, the only true Church, 214. 
The faith of Christ as received from her, and obedience to His com- 
mands, essential to salvation, 214, 215. 



Its nature, 216. In what light to be considered by us, ib. When 
given to man, 216, 217. Our duty of obedience thereto, 217, 218. 
How this rendered possible to us, 218, 219. The division of the Ten 
Commandments, 219-221. 



These in general, 222. In particular, ib. Obedience thereto, how 
binding on us, 222, 223. In what light represented in Scripture, 223, 

224. (SECTION I.) - The First Command.— Enjoins hearing Mass on 
Sundays and holidays, and rest from servile work, 224. Its design, ib. 
God's requirement of the duty to which it relates, how manifested, 224. 

225. By whom Christian holidays appointed, and the observance of the 


first day of the week ordained, 225. For what end holidays appointed, and 
in what manner to be kept, 225, 226. Why hearing Mass the only pious 
exercise enjoined, 226, 227. The breach, and proper idea of the Com- 
mand, 227, 228. (Section IT.)—- The Second Command.— Enjoins 
fasting and abstinence at certain times, 229. The particular times, ib. 
The design of the command, ib. The terms fasting and abstinence de- 
fined, ib. How the authority for the former and Divine command of 
the latter practice, their observance and benefits, appear from Scrip- 
ture, 229-235. Why the times and manner of fasting not determined 
by God, 235. His power to the Church to appoint these — how exer- 
cised, 236. The duty of the people, 236, 237. The prescribed rule, 
237, 238. Of the gradual laxity in its observance, and decrees of the 
Church regarding, 238-241. Of the collation specially, 241, 242. Ex- 
emption from fasting — the plea of health not always valid, 242-244. 
The fear of ridicule, 244-246. (Section HI.)— The Third and 
Fourth Commands. — Enjoin approaching the Sacraments of Penance 
and Holy Communion once a-year, the latter at Easter, 246. Their 
design, 246-248. The sin of neglect of our Easter duties without just 
cause, 248. When non-observance excusable, ib. (Section IV.) — 
The Fifth Command. — Enjoins payment of tithes to our pastors, 248. 
Its design, 248, 249. Whence the duty of their support arises, 249- 

254. The law of the Church in relation thereto, and its observance, 254, 

255. (Section V.) — The Sixth Command. — Forbids marriage at 
certain times and within certain degrees, 255. These special times, ib. 
Presence at marriage during them, 256. Within what degrees, and why 
marriage forbidden, 256-258. The effect of the prohibition, 258. Of 
dispensation therefrom, 258-260. Generally, what necessary effectually 
to avoid transgression of the Divine laws, 260. 


of sin. 

Definition of sin in general, 261. Original and actual, ib. The 
difference, ib. \VTio guilty of the latter, ib. Its division into : (Sec- 
tion I.)— Mortal Sin.— This defined, 261, 262. Its effects, 262. Its 
character, ib. How its malice appears from the injury done to God, 
263-265. His hatred of it, 265, 266. Its punishment in the world, 266- 
268. Its ingratitude against Christ, 268, 269. Its effect on our souls in 
this life, 269-273. The loss of heaven and condemnation to hell, 273-275. 
(Section II.) — Venial Sin. — Its definition and effect, 276. Its na- 
ture as distinct from mortal sin proved, 276-278. Of two kinds, 278. 
Their relative evil, 278, 279. Of that of dehberate venial sin specially, 
279-285. The remedies for sin, 285. 




Its nature, 286. Its principal components, 286, 287. (Section I.) — 
The Sorrow of Repentance. — Defined, 287. Its qualities, 287, 289. 
Essential to true repentance, 289, 290. Its two kinds, how termed, their 
character and different effects, 290-292. (Section II.)— The Purpose 
of not Sinning Again. — Its definition, 292. Its effects, and their 
necessity to reconciliation with God, 292-294. Their attainment, 294-295. 
(Section III.) — The doing Penance for Sin. — In what the duty- 
consists, 296. The design, certainty, and manner of the punishment of 
sin, 296-300. Whence the obligation of the duty, and how this a part of 
true repentance, 300-306. The satisfaction of Christ in relation thereto, 
306-313. Its advantages, 313, 314. (Section IV.)— The Spirit of 
Penance.— Defined, 316. Its effects, 316, 317. Its signs, 317, 318. 
By what means obtained, 318-320. (Section V.)— The Works of 
Penance. — Their general nature, 320, 321. Their distinct classes — 
(i.) those commanded under pain of sin, 322-324 ; (2.) those left to our 
own choice, 324-327 ; (3.) those independent of our will, 327, 328. (Sec- 
tion VI.) — The effects of true repentance in the remission of sin, 328- 



OF THE grace OF GOD. 

Its nature, 332. Of two kinds, ib. Their respective effects, ib. (Sec- 
tion I.) — Actual Grace. — Its particular nature, ib. Its operation on 
the soul, 333. How its special virtues appear from Scripture, 333, 334. 
Its help essential to what is conducive to salvation, 334-337. Free-will in 
relation to it, 337,338. Ourgood works independent of it, 338, 339. Its 
aid the gift of God to all, 339-341. This shown with regard to true 
believers who are,—(i.) in a state of grace, 342, 343; (2.)ofsin, 343-346; 
and unbelievers, 346, 347. Its effects, and what necessary on our part 
thereto, 347-350. How bestowed by God, 350-351. (Section II.)^ 
Sanctifying Grace. — Its individual nature, 352-354. Its effect, 354. 
Its action on the soul to that end, 354-360. How increased, 360, 361. 
How diminished and lost, 361, 362. By what means recovered when 
lost by sin, 362-368. 



In what a true sacrament consists, 369. Its requisites, design, and 
effect when received with proper dispositions, 369-376, 378, 379. The 


administration of tlie sacraments, 376-378. The farther effects, besides 
communication of grace, of those of baptism, confirmation, and holy 
orders, 379, 380. Their number, 380, 381. Our obligations in regard 
to them, 381, 382. (Appendix.) — Sacred Ceremonies. — The nature 
and necessity of ceremonies in general, 382, 383. The nature and design 
of sacred ceremonies, 383-385. By whom instituted, 385-388. The 
character of those of the Catholic Church vindicated, 38S-392. Her 
use of Latin in religious offices, 392-395. That of the sign of the cross, 



Its design, 401. Its character, institution, outward form, and in- 
ward grace, 401-403. Its administration, 403, 404. (Section I.) — 
Its Effects, 404-407. (Section II.) — Its Necessity.— Essential in 
general to salvation, 407-409. When salvation possible without it, 
409, 410. Of children who die unbaptised, 410. How often to be re- 
ceived, 410, 411. The dispositions required to obtain its graces, 411. 
(Section III.) — Its Ceremonies. — What to be observed generally 
with respect to, 411, 412. Their division into, — (i.) those which pre- 
cede, 412-416; (2.) those which accompany, 416-418; (3.) those which 
succeed, 418 — the sacramental action. (Section IV.)— Godfathers 
.■\ND God.mothers. — Why required, 419. Their number, lb. Their 
qualifications, ib. Their obligations, 419, 420. The kindred they 
contract by their office, 420. 



Its design, 421. Its character, institution, outward action, and inward 
grace or effects, and how often to be received, 422-425, 426. Our co- 
operation necessary to its full benefits, 425. The dispositions essen- 
tial to its worthy receiving, 426, 427. The sin of its neglect, 427, 428. 
Its ceremonies, 428-429. 


Portrait of Bishop Hay, from the Painting at St 
Marj-'s College, Blairs, by George Watson, Pre- 
sident of the Scottish Academy, . . Frontispiece. 

The Chapel, and Residence of Bishop Hay, still 
existing in Blackfriars Wynd. Engraved from a 
Drawing by Charles Doyle, . . . Page xxv. 

Facsimile of the Handwriting of Bishop Hay, taken 
from his MSS. in St Mary's College, Blairs, Page xxviii. 

M E M O I R. 

SiNXE the religious revolution of the sixteenth century, to no 
man has the Catholic Church in Scotland been so much 
indebted as to Bishop Hay. He is pre-eminently her bishop 
of the last three hundred years. 

He appeared at a time when the prospects of religion in 
this country were the most gloomy — when Catholic interests 
and Catholic hopes had sunk to the lowest point. At pre- 
sent it is difficult, if not impossible, fully to realise what 
was then the position of Catholics in Scotland. The sys- 
tematic work of depression which had been carried on for 
years by the grinding operation of the penal laws, seemed 
to be completed by the disastrous rising in favour of the 
Stuarts in 1745. With their cause all the Catholic families 
of wealth and influence in the kingdom had identified them- 
selves, and the result was widespread ruin. 

The Catholic body was left crushed and dispirited. Many 
fled to seek an asylum in foreign countries ; and those who 
still clung to their native land were, with few exceptions, 
stripped of everything. 

In their poverty and sufferings it was difficult for them 
VOL. I. a 


even to retain their faith. They were without churches, 
and almost without pastors to minister to their spiritual 
wants or to impart instruction ; and consequently, not only 
individuals but many entire families fell away from their 
religion. In this trying crisis, the zeal, energy, and apos- 
tolic labours of a single, unpretending, but truly great pre- 
late, contributed materially to the preservation of the faith. 
Indeed he may be justly said to have gathered together and 
consolidated the scattered fragments of the ancient Church 
in Scotland, for much of what she now possesses is the 
result of his wise and vigorous administration. 

The Right Rev. Dr George Hay was born at Edinburgh, 
August 24, 1729. He was the only son of Mr James Hay, a 
non-juring Episcopalian, who had been put in irons and 
sentenced to banishment for his adherence to the Stuarts in 
1715. From his mother he received early religious impres- 
sions, and by her was taught the practice of night and 
morning prayer, a circumstance to which he looked back 
with gratitude in later life. Being destined for the medical 
profession, in his sixteenth year he entered the Edinburgh 
University, then rising to the zenith of its fame. There 
he rapidly distinguished himself in his studies ; and some of 
his fellow-students, themselves eminent, afterwards declared 
that had he persevered, he would have stood at the head of 
his profession. But his medical studies were interrupted, 
and finally abandoned. 

The Highland army, under Prince Charles Stuart, entered 
Edinburgh on the 17th September 1745, and found many of 
the citizens secretly disposed to favour them. Mr George 
Lauder, Mr Hay's professor, was an enthusiast in the cause, 
and many of his pupils were animated by the same spirit. 
He was appointed chief surgeon to the Prince's army, and, 
in a few days, was called to attend the wounded on the 


field of Prestonpans. Mr Hay, who had been educated in 
the politicfal principles of his family, willingly accompanied 
his professor, and followed the fortunes of the army in its 
march into England. 

On its retreat, his health being broken by exposure and 
fatigue, he was unable to proceed beyond Crieff, and there- 
fore returned to Edinburgh in February 1746. As he had 
served not in a military but purely professional capacity, 
assisting indiscriminately the sick and wounded of both 
armies, he hoped he would be put to no trouble. He was 
soon undeceived, however, for he was first committed to 
Edinburgh Castle for three months, and thence removed to 
London along with other prisoners implicated in the same 
cause. In London his captivity was not a rigorous one, 
but twelve months elapsed before his liberation under the 
Habeas Corpus Act in June 1747. 

For himself he had no longer any cause of apprehension, 
but fearing lest he might be cited in evidence against some 
of the unfortunate adherents of the Stuarts, he retired to 
the seat of Sir Walter Montgomery, a relative in Ayrshire. 
As soon as all danger of this seemed past, he returned to 
Edinburgh and resumed his medical studies. Other im- 
portant matters, however, now occupied his thoughts. Na- 
turally he was of a serious cast of mind, and this had been 
strengthened by early training. But that he had no Catholic 
tendencies is sufficiently evident from the fact, that in the 
fervour of youth he had bound himself by a double vow to 
read a portion of the Bible daily, and to do his utmost to 
extirpate Popery from his native country. In London, hov,- 
ever, he had chanced to hear the doctrines of the Catholic 
Church explained by an English gentleman, in a manner 
which excited his surprise ; and in his retreat in Ayrshire 
he had fallen upon a well-known little work, --/ Papist 


represented and misrepreseiited, or a tiuofold character of 
Popery. Doubts were excited in his mind, and Air Hay 
was not of a character to set aside doubts upon an important 
subject without due investigation. 

As the surest means of obtaining correct information re- 
garding the Catholic faith, he resolved to apply to a Catho- 
lic priest, and accordingly obtained an introduction to Sir 
Alexander Seaton, the Jesuit missionary, then resident in 
Edinburgh. From him he received the information and 
explanation he desired, and after a lengthened course of 
instruction was received into the Catholic Church. On the 
Feast of St Thomas, 21st December 1749, he made his 
first communion with extraordinary fervour — a fervour in 
which he happily persevered to the end of his long and 
useful life. 

Mr Hay, in embracing the Catholic faith, had no idea of 
relinquishing the medical profession. On the contrary, he 
continued to prosecute his studies with his characteristic 
vigour, became a member of the Royal Medical Society, 
and took a lively interest in everj-thing becoming his posi- 
tion. He soon discovered, however, that his prospects of 
success in life must be materially injured by his change of 
religion. By the penal laws he was debarred from graduat- 
, ing in the University, and from obtaining the diploma of 
/ the Royal College of Surgeons. These restrictions natu- 
rally excited a desire of leaving Scotland, and of retiring to 
some foreign countr)^ where he might enjoy liberty of con- 
science and have the prospect of rising in his profession. 
With this view he accepted the appointment of surgeon on 
board a trad ing- vessel chartered for the Mediterranean. 

While in London making the necessary arrangements for 

his departure, he was introduced to the illustrious Bishop 

/ Challoner, who was himself a convert, and could therefore 


sympathise with the young Scotch surgeon, driven from 
his home by the intolerant laws of his country. The 
Bishop soon discovered his genuine worth. He admired 
his vigorous intellect, sound judgment, and depth of reli- 
gious feeling, and was probably in no small degree instru- 
mental in leading Mr Hay to devote himself to the service 
of God and his neighbour in the ecclesiastical state. Cer- 
tain it is that the acquaintance of these two remarkable 
men at this time led to their being afterwards united in the 
bonds of the closest friendship. At a later period they 
entered into a pious compact, that on the death of either, the 
survivor should offer up the holy sacrifice three times every 
week for the repose of his soul ; and this engagement Dr 
Hay fulfilled with scrupulous fidelity for nearly a quarter of 
a century after the decease of his esteemed friend. 

But whatever was the advice given by Dr Challoner at 
this time, or whatever effect it may have had upon Mr 
Hay's mind, he was not a person to decide hastily in such 
an important matter. He took full time for mature deli- 
beration, proceeded to the Mediterranean, completed his 
engagement there, and it was not till the loth September 
175 1 that he entered the Scotch College in Rome — nearly 
two years after he had embraced the Catholic faith. There he 
found only nine students, but that little band contained no 
less than four persons who were afterwards well known by 
their services to religion — the Rev. William Guthrie, Bishop 
Geddes, Bishop John M'Donald, and Cardinal Erskine. 

In Rome he spent eight years in the study of philosophy 
and theology, and his progress is well attested by the val- 
uable works with which he afterwards favoured the world. 
But his chief care during his college life was to sanctify 
himself, by the exact and fervent discharge of all his re- 
ligious duties. Having completed his course of studies 


in the Scotch College, he was ordained priest, and im- 
mediately set out for the scene of his future labours, ac- 
companied by the Rev. Messrs John Geddes and William 
Guthrie. They travelled through France and embarked at 
Dunkirk; but knowing that the greatest vigilance was exer- 
cised by the British Government to prevent the ingress of 
Catholic priests, they avoided the principal ports, and landed 
at Burntisland on the eve of the Assumption, 1759. Next 
day they presented themselves to Bishop Smith at Edin- 
burgh, and Mr Hay was appointed to assist Bishop Grant, 
coadjutor in the important mission of Preshome, Banffshire. 
Here he began his missionary career, and laboured for eight 
years with untiring zeal in the work of the ministrj- — preach- 
ing, administering the sacraments, and promoting ever}- 
pious practice among the faithful. 

On the death of Bishop Smith, in 1767, Mr Hay was 
appointed to accompany Bishop Grant, now Vicar Apostolic, 
to Edinburgh, to arrange the papers of the deceased prelate. 
This he executed to the satisfaction of all concerned, dis- 
charging at the same time the duties of procurator of the 
mission, and serving the congregation. 

Bishop Grant, whose constitution had been shattered by 
rigorous confinement in the prison of Inverness, soon per- 
ceived that his increasing infirmities rendered the nomi- 
nation of a coadjutor and successor necessary, and he felt 
no hesitation in making his selection. The piety, learning, 
and ability of Mr Hay recommended him as the person 
eminently qualified for the arduous and difficult position. 
Bishop Grant therefore procured his appointment, and, 
assisted by Drs Hugh and John M 'Donald, consecrated 
him Bishop of Daulia {in partibtis) at Scalan on Trinity 
Sunday, the 19th May 1769. 

From that day the whole burden of the Vicariate may be 

MEMOIR. xix 

said to have devolved on him ; for the Vicar Apostolic, no 
longer able to perform the duties of his office, transferred 
all his faculties to his coadjutor. Henceforth Bishop Hay 
becomes more properly a subject of history than of bio- 
graphy, for a full account of his life would necessarily em- 
brace all the important events connected with the Catholic 
Church in Scotland during his long episcopate. 

Bishop Hay was unremitting in his attention to his flock, 
hearing confessions, visiting the sick, and giving instructions 
almost continuously. Preaching he regarded as the indis- 
pensable duty of every pastor of souls; and he himself was 
most assiduous in that duty. He spoke in a plain, familiar, 
and unaffected style ; and his discourses, enriched with a 
variety of texts from Holy Scripture, were admirably calcu- 
lated to convince the understanding and to gain the heart. 
His edifying example stimulated the zeal of the clergy un- 
der his charge, and his frequent Pastorals enlightened and 
directed them in the discharge of their duties. 

To the general interests of his extensive Vicariate Dr 
Hay gave the most vigilant attention, visiting the various 
missions and corresponding frequently with his clergy. 
But his active charity did not rest there ; he published 
the first English Catholic version of the Holy Scriptures 
printed in Scotland, and made incredible exertions to 
supply the faithful with pious and instructive books. He 
composed several excellent works in defence of religion, and 
entered with ardour into all the measures, then in agitation, 
for the repeal of the penal laws against Catholics. To at- 
tend to such a multiplicity of affairs must have necessitated 
a rigorous disposition of time, but the regularity of Dr 
Hay's life enabled him to utilise every moment. He rose 
very early, made an hour's meditation, recited Prime, Tierce, 
Sext, and Nonej then prepared himself, by long and fer\-ent 


acts of devotion, for saying ]\Iass ; heard another, if possible ; 
and concluded his morning exercises with spiritual reading, 
from the best ascetic WTiters. The day he devoted to busi- 
ness, and in the evening recited the Divine Office. At eight 
o'clock he retired for an hour's contemplation before the 
blessed Sacrament ; and after supper and evening prayers, 
resumed his studies till midnight, when he usually retired to 
rest. The life of this holy bishop was a finished model of 
that humility and self-denial which he so strenuously incul- 
cated in his writings. 

Yet Bishop Hay was always cheerful and agreeable. 
His virtue had nothing in it gloomy or morose, for, 
though severe to himself, he was ever condescending and 
tender to others. Conformity to the will of God was his 
favourite virtue and the subject of his daily meditation. 
Hence arose that resignation to all the appointmicnts of 
Divine Providence which no accident seemed capable of 
disturbing, and that meekness which the most injurious 
treatment could not arouse to resentment. To aid others 
in acquiring this virtue of conformity, he made a collection 
of the different passages of Scripture in which it is enforced ; 
and he used to comment on them with singular delight and 
devotion. The serenity of his mind was truly marvellous. 
Once only — on learning that His Holiness, Pius VI., was 
a prisoner in the hands of the French Revolutionists — was 
it observed to give way, and then but for a short time. He 
retired to his orator}-, and there, in presence of the blessed 
Sacrament, soon regained his usual placid resignation. His 
peace rested on God, and nothing earthly could permanently 
disturb it. It may readily be supposed that the claims of 
the poor were not disregarded by such a man as Bishop 
Hay. They received due attention at his hands. In the 
frequent visitation of his Vicariate he distributed liberal 

MEMOIR. xxi 

alms, and gave medical advice to the sick poor who could 
not procure a physician. 

Not long after his promotion to the episcopate, the Catho- 
lics in the island of Uist were subjected to a cruel persecu- 
tion. One of the principal proprietors of the island, wishing 
to eradicate the ancient faith, served notice of ejectment upon 
all the Catholics on his estate, leaving them the choice of 
apostasy or eviction. The poor people at once adopted the 
only alternative which conscience allowed, and were ruth- 
lessly driven from their homes. The misery of the persecuted 
and suffering islanders aroused the active sympathy of Bishop 
Hay. He made a powerful and successful appeal on their be- 
half to the charity of the Catholics of Great Britain, and by 
this means enabled them to cross over to North America. 
They were accompanied in their forced exile by Mr Macdon- 
ald of Glenaladale, who sold his property in Scotland, and 
generously devoted himself to the protection of his poor 
countrymen. Thus commenced that system of emigration 
which eventually depopulated many parts of the Highlands, 
and laid the foundation of a powerful and prosperous 
Catholic colony in North America. The brave exiles trans- 
mitted their faith to their descendants, and taught them to 
revere the memory of their benefactor. Bishop Hay. 

Bishop Hay first appeared as an author in 1771, in 
a spirited detection of the errors contained in a sermon 
published by a celebrated Presbyterian minister of Aber- 
deen. This was followed by his Letters on Usury and 
Interest, in which he throws much light on a difficult sub- 
ject, and reconciles the practice of taking interest with the 
doctrine of the Scriptures. The dispute upon the subject of 
miracles between Dr Middleton and his antagonists, induced 
Bishop Hay to write his Scripture Doctrine of Miracles 
Displayed, which is, perhaps, the best work that has ap- 


peared on that difficult and important subject. Not long 
after, his Sincei'e, Devout, and Pious Christian were suc- 
cessively laid before the public, and were received with much 
favour. The Catholic Bishops of Ireland bestowed on them 
the highest encomiums, and strongly recommended them to 
the use of the faithful. The reputation of Dr Hay as an 
author was now established, and the most distinguished pre- 
lates in both kingdoms entered into correspondence with him. 
The British Government having at length evinced a 
disposition to repeal some of the most oppressive of the 
penal laws which had so long been a disgrace to the 
legislature. Bishop Hay seized the favourable moment 
to procure some relief for the Catholics of Scotland, who 
felt even more heavily than their brethren in England 
and Ireland the iron rod of persecution. The fanatics, 
all over Scotland, immediately took alarm. Declarations 
and Resolutions were everywhere published against the 
mitigation of the penal statutes. The press teemed with 
misrepresentations and calumnies, the pulpits resounded 
with furious invectives against Catholics. The popular fury 
was especially directed against the Bishop, and a day 
was fixed for burning the chapel and house which he 
had lately built in Chalmers' Close, High Street. Hand- 
bills were distributed inviting all to aid in the good work, 
as it was impiously termed ; and at length, on the 2d of 
February 1779, the mob assembled, and, with the assistance 
of five hundred sailors from Leith, proceeded to their work 
of destruction. Repeated applications were made to the Lord 
Provost for protection against the rioters, but he was deaf 
to all entreaties. The Duke of Buccleuch, and some other 
officers, fired with indignation at such daring excesses, has- 
tened, with a few troops, to the spot, seized the most forward 
of the incendiaries, and would have dispersed the mob, but 


the authorities positively refused to allow him to proceed, 
and the work of destruction went on. The chapel and house 
were soon reduced to ashes, and the rabble then spread 
themselves over the city, burning and destroying everything 
belonging to Catholics which came in their way. At this 
crisis Bishop Hay arrived from London, and, unaware of the 
state of matters, proceeded on his way home. The unusual 
crowd in the street, however, soon attracted his attention, 
and addressing a woman whom he met near the foot of 
Hlackfriars Wynd, he asked her what it meant. " Oh, 
sir," she replied, " we are burning the Popish chapel, and 
we only wish we had the Bishop to throw him into the fire." 
— (Abbd Macpherson's Hist, of Scott. Missions^ The Bishop 
prudently turned aside, and found an asylum in the Castle, 
where a number of his flock had taken refuge. 

The next morning the mob plundered the chapel-house 
in Blackfriars Wynd, and attempted to destroy the residence 
of Principal Robertson, who had courageously opposed their 
lawless proceedings on the previous day. 

After a few days Bishop Hay returned to London, and, 
through the interest of Mr Burke and other influential friends 
in Parliament, succeeded in obtaining some indemnification 
for the sufferers in the riot. The erection of another chapel 
and chapel-house in Edinburgh, however, was retarded for 
many years. Dr Hay deemed it prudent to continue in his 
humble dwelling in Blackfriars Wynd, and to use the upper 
floor as a chapel. It was not till 1814 that St Mary's, 
Broughton Street, was built by his successor, Bishop Came- 

Upon the death of Bishop Grant in 1778, Bishop Hay be- 
came Vicar Apostolic, and selected the Rev. John Geddes, 
his college companion, a clergj-man of distinguished merit, 
as coadjutor. 


The Scotch College at Rome had, for some years, been in 
a very unsatisfactory state. Those intrusted with the ad- 
ministration of it, after the suppression of the Jesuits, had 
given occasion to many complaints. Repeated remonstrances 
proved ineffectual, and at length Bishop Hay resolved to 
go in person and lay the case before His Holiness. His 
desire to have the Statuta Missionis approved and printed 
furnished a pretext for the journey, and he set out for Italy 
in the summer of 1781. Passing through Germany, he 
visited the Scotch Benedictine monasteries at Wurtsburg 
and Ratisbon, and. arrived in Rome about the middle of 
October. Cardinal Antonelli, Prefect of Propaganda, re- 
ceived him with marked distinction, and soon after he was 
admitted to a private audience of the Holy Father. His 
great object was to get national superiors placed in the Scotch 
College. After repeated conferences on the subject with 
Albani, Cardinal Protector of Scotland, he obtained his con- 
sent to the immediate admission of a member of the Scotch 
mission, with a promise that in a little time the entire ad- 
ministration should be placed in his hands. Many years 
elapsed, however, before the desired change was effected. 

After a stay of six m.onths at Rome, Bishop Hay returned 
to Scotland. Soon after his arrival, the illness and sub- 
sequent death of the Rev. Andrew Dawson obliged him to 
remove to Scalan. Here, in addition to the work of the 
mission, he superintended the cultivation of the farm at- 
tached to the Seminary, composed small treatises for the 
use of the students, and taught them the elements of litera- 
ture. His leisure moments he devoted to the study ot 
metaphysics, for which he had a special predilection, and 
made a compendium of Reid's Inquiry into the Human 
Mind. From this congenial employment he was recalled, 
by the illness of Bishop Geddes, to resume his former func- 

TJie Clutpel, and Residence of Bishop Hay in Blackfnars Wynd. 


tions in Edinburgh, where aftairs of vital importance soon 
absorbed his whole attention. 

By the destruction of the Scotch Missionary Colleges on 
the Continent, the prospect of future labourers in the ministry 
was destroyed. This calamity was deeply felt by Bishop 
Hay, but it did not shake his confidence in God. With 
his usual energy he applied himself to remedy the evil, 
and though possessed of very slender means, began to build 
a new Seminary at Aquhorties. Thither, on its completion 
in 1799, he removed the students from Scalan, and laid the 
foundation of an establishment which afterwards supplied 
Scotland with many distinguished priests. 

All hope of the recover}' of Bishop Geddes being now at 
an end, Dr Hay was obliged to nominate another coadjutor, 
and after mature deliberation he made choice of the Rev. 
Alexander Cameron. From personal acquaintance with this 
gentleman, he had formed a high idea of his virtue and 
talents ; and that idea had been confirmed by the ability which 
Mr Cameron had displayed in the government of the Scotch 
College in Spain. The appointment gave general satisfac- 
tion, and Dr Hay applied to Rome for the Papal Briefs. 
On the 13th of August 1797 he informed Mr Cameron him- 
self of his promotion, conjuring him to hasten to his assist- 
ance, and to relieve him of a burden which he was no longer 
able to support. The distracted state of the Continent, how- 
ever, prevented Bishop Cameron, for a considerable time, 
from undertaking his journey; but at length, tranquillity 
being restored by the peace of Amiens, he embarked for 

On the 20th of August 1802, Mr Cameron arrived in Edin- 
burgh ; and Bishop Hay, following the example of his pre- 
decessor, Bishop Grant, immediately imparted to him com- 
plete faculties to govern the Vicariate. It was, indeed, his 


anxious wish to be entirely freed from the responsibility 
of his charge ; but this being a case specially reserved 
to the Holy See, he could not resign wj^hout the express 
permission of the Holy Father. Cardinal Antonelli, to whom 
he had, long before, intimated his desire, positively refused 
to countenance any application of the kind, and insisted, 
in the name of the Sacred Congregation, that he should con- 
tinue to govern the Mission while he had strength to do so. 
Indeed it was only a few years before his death, when mental 
and bodily prostration rendered it impossible for him any 
longer to superintend the affairs of the Vicariate, that His 
Holiness could be prevailed upon to accept his resignation. 

The zeal and prudence of his coadjutor, however, did much 
to lessen the burden of responsibility on Dr Hay, and to re- 
concile him to his position. He had unbounded confidence 
in Dr Cameron, and he, on his part, did nothing without 
the advice and consent of his superior. 

At length he was relieved of his charge, and he retired 
to the Seminary at Aquhorties to prepare for death. Here 
he devoted himself to prayer and pious reading until his 
mental faculties began to give way. The intense study 
and continual mortification of his long and active life had 
worn him out, and he sank, literally exhausted by labour, 
into a second childhood. In this state, rendered still more 
affecting by the loss of speech from paralysis, he con- 
tinued for nearly two years, enjoying, in other respects, com- 
paratively good health. At last a severe illness exhausted 
his remaining strength, and he gradually sank till his death, 
on the 15th of October 181 1, in the eighty-third year of his 
age, and forty-third of his episcopal dignity. 

The influence which Bishop Hay had so long exercised in 
the cause of religion did not die with him. It has been per- 
petuated and extended by his writings. Nor is this surpris- 


ing when we consider their character and spirit. The study 
of the Holy Scriptures was the comfort and the solace of 
his life ; and his ^^ritings show how copiously he drew from 
that sacred source. Indeed, in perusing them we forget the 
individual and see before us only a saintly prelate filled with 
the thought of God and His Divine truth, teaching and 
exhorting through the Scriptures. The more we examine 
his works, the more clearly do we see how appropriately 
they bear their unpretending, but expressive, title — The 
Sincere, Devout, and Pious Christian, instructed in the 
faith of Christ from the Written Word. 

Specimens of Bishop Havs Handwriting, in 1762 and 1789. 


/." /^fffi-c CYerc.i^CL<x. Hx^ixtiAi^fiL jfuji^i.^^ Jii^c. yi^^M^'t*^'^^ «<cV; 






JESUS CHRIST, the eternal ^v^sdom of God, who is 
Himself " the way, the truth, and the life" address- 
ing His heavenly Father, pronounces this sacred oracle : 
" This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only 
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent," 
John xvii. 3. 

The securing to ourselves eternal life is the great end 
for which we were created ; it is the " one thing neces- 
sary" without which we are lost for ever ; it is an affair 
of all others the most important, or rather, it is the only 
important affair we have to think of : " For what shall it 
profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his 
own soul ? Or what shall a man give in exchange for 
his soul?" Mark viii. 36. Seeing, then, that the know- 
ledge of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His Son, 
in such a manner as we are capable of knowing Them in 

VOL. I. A 


this world, is declared by Christ Himself to be the eternal 
life of our souls — that is, to bfe the necessary and un- 
doubted means of acquiring that eternal life, and of bring- 
ing us to the full knowledge and possession of God in 
the world to come — how much ought we to esteem that 
Divine knowledge ! How assiduous and careful ought 
we to be to get ourselves fully instructed in it ! 

What will it profit a man to know all things else, if 
he be ignorant of his God and of his Saviour? What 
though he understand the motions of the stars, the mea- 
sure of the earth, and the whole circle of human sciences, 
if he be ignorant of that important science, the science 
of the saints, which alone will conduct him to eternal 
bUss ? " If any man consents not," says St Paul, " to 
the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that 
doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, 
knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of 
words," I Tim. vi. 3. To promote this heavenly wisdom 
among men, to instruct the ignorant in the knowledge of 
the great truths of God and of eternity, has at all times 
been esteemed by the Christian world as a most sublime 
employment: and God Himself has promised a most 
ample reward to those who practise it, saying, by His 
holy prophet Daniel, " They that are learned shall shine 
as the brightness of the fimiament, and they that instruct 
many to justice, as stars for all eternity," Dan. xii. 3. 
Hence it is, that, in every age, we find men of the 
greatest genius and learning, who have employed them- 
selves with great zeal in instructing the ignorant in the 
truths of salvation, both by their apostolical labours dur- 
ing their lifetime, and by the pious monuments of their 
charity and zeal which they have left behind them in 
their valuable writings, for the benefit of future ages. ' 
To contribute my mite towards so laudable a purpose 


is the design of the present publication ; to which I have 
been induced by several considerations. 

I have often thought that the great truths of Christian- 
ity, if digested in a regular orderly method, so that the 
establishing one point should be a prelude and prepara- 
tion to the next, would show that Divine religion in a 
more amiable point of view, and be a great ease and 
help both to those who are to instruct others, and to 
those who are learners : this idea has been confirmed by 
frequent experience, and I hope that the method which 
I have found so useful may prove equally beneficial to 
others. There are many excellent works published in 
our language upon different parts of religion ; but I am 
afraid they too often suppose the generality of their 
readers better instructed in these matters than they com- 
monly are, and are WTitten more for the learned than 
the ignorant. The view I have had in this present w-ork 
is to assist the most unlearned, and beginning with the 
first rudiments of Christianity, to conduct the reader, 
step by step, through the whole body of the principal 
truths of revelation, so that the knowledge of one truth 
may serve as an introduction to those which follow. 

The sacred Scriptures are an inexhaustible fountain of 
heavenly knowledge, but are commonly less used than 
they might be in illustrating and establishing the truths 
of religion. A text or two hinted at now and then seem 
lost in the multitude of other reflections and reasons 
which surround them ; but, when the principal stress 
both of the explanation and proof is laid upon these 
Divine oracles, and a number of texts are placed in the 
proper order for illustrating the point in question, they 
give an incredible force to what is proposed, show that 
it is God Himself who speaks, and cut off all occasion 
for human sophistry to enter. This I have had in a 


particular manner in view in these instructions, and have 
endeavoured to collect together the several testimonies 
of the Word of God where the point in question is ex- 
plained, illustrated, or established; that, showing the 
constant uniform doctrine of the Holy Scripture, I might 
bring full and complete conviction to the mind. Some 
may perhaps think I have crowded too many texts 
together on some occasions ; but I have had in view the 
benefit of those who are to instruct others, that they 
may have a proper variety out of which to choose what 
they may find, by experience, to be most adapted to the 
various capacities of their pupils. 

After this brief explanation of the plan and design of 
the work, I have only two things to recommend to my 
readers. The first is, to make themselves masters of 
one chapter before they proceed to another — to consider 
it well, to comprehend it, to penetrate the force of the 
reasons used in it. This will render the understanding 
of what follows easier, and, at the same time, more 
satisfactory and convincing. The second thing is, when 
examining the proofs from Scripture brought for any 
controverted point, not to consider so much how far the 
ingenuity of man could wrest the meaning of any par- 
ticular text to a sense different from what it is brought 
to prove ; but to consider what is the plain, natural, 
obvious meaning of all the various texts brought together 
in proof of the point proposed ; for this surely must be 
presumed to be the sense intended by the Holy Ghost. 






Q. I. 'IT THAT is Gc?d? 

V V yi- God is a Spirit infinitely perfect, the 
Creator and Sovereign Lord of all things. 

Q. 2. What do you mean by a Spirit? 

A. An immaterial being, quite distinct from body.' 
Now God is a most pure, uncreated Spirit, without any 
body ; and those expressions of Scripture where mention 
is made of the hands of God, or His feet, or the like, 
are only figurative ways of speaking, accommodated to 
our Aveak understandings. 

Q. 3. What do you mean by iiiflnitdy perfect 1 

A. I mean that all possible perfections essentially be- 
long to God, and are in Him in an infinite degree, without 
bounds or limitation. 


Q. 4. What are the pei-fedions of God? 

A. Power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy, holiness, 
truth, beauty, eternity, immensity, and many others, of 
which we can have no idea. So that God is infinitely 
powerful, infinitely wise, infinitely good, infinitely just, 
infinitely merciful, infinitely holy, infinitely true, infinitely 
beautiful, eternal, immense, and unchangeable. 

Q. 5. What do you mean by infinitely powerf till 

A. I mean that God can do all things whatsoever He 
pleases, and in what manner He pleases ; so that nothing 
is impossible or difticult to Him. 

Q. 6. How does this appear from Scripture ? 

A. On this head the Scripture declares (i.) That "with 
God all things are possible," Mat. xix. 26 ; and that " no 
word shall be impossible with God," Luke, i. 37. (2.) 
That He created this world, and all that it contains, 
out of nothing, by His word alone ; for " in the begin- 
ning God created the heavens and the earth," Gen. i. i. 
" He made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all 
things that are in them," Ps. cxlv. 6. " In Him were 
all things created, in heaven and on earth, visible and in- 
visible, whether thrones or dominations, or principalities 
or powers, all things were created by Him and in Him," 
Col. i. 16. " He spoke the word, and they were made ; 
He commanded, and they were created," Ps. cxlviii. 5. 
(3.) That He can do in all creatures whatsoever He 
pleases ; for " whatsoever the Lord pleased He hath 
done in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the depths," 
Ps. cxxxiv. 6, (4.) That "all things are in His power, 
and that there is none that can resist His will," Esther, 
xiii. 9 ; for " He alone is mighty, the King of kings, and 
Lord of lords," i Tim. vi. 15. 

Q. 7. What do you mean by infinitely wise ? 

A. I mean that God knows all things, past, present, and 

OF GOD. 7 

to come, even the most secret thoughts of the heart of 
man, and all things that possibly can be. 

Q. 8. How is this proved? 

A. His holy Word declares that " there is no creature 
invisible in His sight ; for all things are naked and open 
in the eyes of Him with whom we speak," Heb. iv. 13. 
" The works of all flesh are before Him, and there is no- 
thing hid from his eyes ; He sees from eternity to eternity, 
and there is nothing wonderful before Him," Ecclus. 
xxxix. 24. " For the eyes of the Lord are far brighter 
than the sun, beholding round about all the ways of men, 
and the bottom of the deep, and looking into the hearts 
of men, into the most secret parts ; for all things were 
known to the Lord God before they were created ; so also 
after they were perfected, He beholdeth all things," 
Ecclus., xxiii. 28. " The heart is perverse above all things, 
and unsearchable, who can know it ? I am the Lord 
who search the heart and prove the reins," Jer. xvii. 10. 

Q. 9. What do you mean by infl)ntely good 1 

A. I mean that as God is infinitely perfect and in- 
finitely happy in Himself, so He has the most earnest 
desire of communicating Himself and His happiness to 
His creatures, and, in consequence of this, is continually 
bestowing good things upon them, according as they are 
capable of receiving them ; for " every good and perfect 
gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights," 
James, i. 17. And God "giveth to all abundantly, and 
upbraideth not," James, i. 5. All the creatures by whose 
means we receive any benefit are but the instruments 
God makes use of to communicate good things to us ; for 
" there is none good but God alone," Luke, xviii. 19. 

(2- 10. What do you mean by infinitely just ? 

A. I mean that God gives to all men the necessary 
means of saving their souls, and will never require any- 


thing of us above our strength ; so that we only are to 
blame, if we fail in our duty to Him : that, therefore, He 
will exercise the most impartial justice on all men, ac- 
cording to their deservings, without respect of persons ; 
for, as St Paul assures us, God will " render to every one 
according to his works; to them indeed who, according 
to patience in good works, seek glory, and honour, and 
incorruption, {He will render) eternal life ; but to them 
who are contentious, and obey not the truth, but give 
credit to iniquity, {He loill rende?-) wrath and indigna- 
tion," Rom. ii. 6. That " He will not judge according 
to the sight of the eye, nor argue according to the hearing 
of the ear, but will judge in justice," Isa. xi. 3 ; and that 
" He will not accept of any person, nor receive any gift," 
Deut. X. 17. 

Q. II. What do you mean by zV//?/«Vc'/)' w^/r///// .? 

A. I mean that God has the most tender compassion 
for the miseries of His creatures, knowing their frailty 
and their weaknesses, and is most desirous and ready to 
deliver them from them ; " He wills none to perish, but 
that all should come to repentance," 2 Pet. iii. 9. " For, 
as T live, saith the Lord, I will not the death of a sinner ; 
but rather that he should turn and live," Ezek. xxxiii. 11. 
Hence " the Lord is gracious and merciful, patient and 
plenteous in mercy : the Lord is sweet to all, and His 
tender mercies are over all His works," Ps. cxliv. 8 ; and 
" His mercy endureth for ever," Ps. cxxxv. Yea, in the 
midst " of anger He will remember mercy," Hab. iii. 2. 
For "as a father hath compassion on his children, so 
hath the Lord compassion on them that fear Him ; for 
He knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are 
dust. . . . But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity 
to eternity, upon them that fear Him," Ps. cii. 13. 
Hence, "Thou hast mercy upon all, because Thou canst 

OF GOD. 9 

do all things, and overlookest the sins of men for the sake 
of repentance ; for Thou lovest all things that are, and 
hatest none of the things that Thou hast made ; for Thou 
didst not appoint or make any thing hating it. . . . But 
Thou sparest all, because they are Thine, O Lord, A\ho 
lovest souls," Wis. xi. 24. 

Q. 12. What do you mean by infinitely holy ? 
A. I mean that God is holiness itself, infinitely pure, 
and free from every spot or stain, or shadow of imperfec- 
tion. Hence He is called in Scripture the Holy of Holies ; 
and the blessed in heaven continually adore Him under 
this title, saying, "Holy, holy, holy. Lord God of Hosts,"" 
Isa. vi. 3. 

Q. 13. What do you mean by infinitely truel 
A. I mean that God is truth itself; that He never can 
be deceived Himself, and that it is impossible He should 
deceive His creatures ; for " God is true, but all men are 
liars," Rom. iii. 4. "God is not like men, that He 
should lie," Num. xxiii. 19. " God is faithful in all His 
words," Ps. cyXw. 13. "And heaven and earth shall pass 
away ; but My words," says He, " shall not pass away," 
Luke, xxi. 33. 

Q. 14. What do you mean by infinitely beautiful 1 
A. I mean that God is beauty itself, infinitely lovely, 
infinitely excellent ; that all the beauty and perfections 
which we see in creatures are but emanations of His 
divine beauty ; and that, though all the beauties of the 
whole universe were collected together in one, it would 
be infinitely less than a spark of fire is to the sun, or a 
drop of water to the ocean, if compared to the beauty 
of God. " Let them know how much more the Lord 
of them is more beautiful than they ; for the First Author 
of beauty made all those things," Wis. xiii. 3. For 
from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, 


out of Sion the loveliness of His beauty," Ps. xlix. i. 
This Divine beauty is so great that all the blessed saints 
and angels in heaven are enraptured with inexpressi- 
ble delight in the contemplation of it, and the enjoy- 
ment of it makes God Himself infinitely and essentially 
happy. Hence the Scripture says : "O taste and see how 
sweet the Lord is ; blessed is the man that hopeth in 
Him," Ps. Ixxxiii. 9. " They shall be inebriated with the 
plenty of Thy house, and Thou shalt make them drink 
of the torrent of Thy pleasures ; for with Thee is the 
fountain of life, and in Thy light we shall see light," 
Ps. XXXV. 9. " O how great is the multitude of Thy 
sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for them 
that fear Thee ! . . . Thou shalt hide them in the secret 
of Thy face," Ps. xxx. 20, 21. 

Q. 15. What do you mean when you say God is 
ete7-nal 1 

A. I mean that God had no beginning, and will have 
no end ; that He always was, is, and ever will be ; for 
" thus sayeth the High and the Eminent who inhabiteth 
eternity," Isa. Ivii. 15. "Thou art the same, and Thy 
years shall not fail," Heb. i. 12. "I am the first and the 
last, — and behold I live for ever and ever," Rev. i. 17. 

Q. 16. Had God no beginning 7 

A. No ; God is a self-existent, necessary Being ; from 
Himself alone, and wholly independent on any other; 
and therefore never had, nor could have, any beginning, 
but must have been from all eternity. Hence He says 
of Himself to ]\Ioses, " I am who am ; thus shalt thou 
say to the children of Israel, He who is hath sent me 
to you," Exod. iii. 14. \\\ order to show that He alone 
is essentially, and that all things else are a mere not/iing\n 
comparison to Him, according to that text, " Behold the 
nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as 


the smallest grain of a balance ; behold the islands are 
as a little dust ... all nations are before Him as if they 
had no being at all, and are counted to him as nothing 
and vanity,"' Isa. xl. 15, 17. 

Q. 17. What do you mean by the immensity of God i 

A. I mean that God filleth all places and all things, 
and that He is intimately present in all creatures ; for 
"in Him we live, and move, and have our being," Acts, 
xvii. 28. " He is higher than the heavens, and what 
wilt thou do ? He is deeper than hell, and how wilt 
thou know? The measure of Him is longer than the 
earth, and broader than the sea," Job xi. 8. "Am I, 
think ye, a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God 
afar off? Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not 
see him ? saith the Lord. Do not I fill the heaven and 
the earth? saith the Lord," Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Hence 
the royal Prophet cries out to God : " If I ascend up to 
heaven, Thou art there ; if I descend into hell. Thou 
art there ; if I take to me the wings of the morning, and 
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also 
shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold 
me,"' Ps. cxxxviii. 8. " O Israel, how great is the house 
of God, and how vast is the place of His possession ! 
It is great, and hath no end ; it is high and immense," 
Bar. iii. 24. 

Q. 18. Is it possible for us to comprehend God? 

A. No, no. It is impossible for any creature to com- 
prehend God; for how can finite comprehend what is 
infinite ? how can the creature comprehend the Creator ? 
Hence the Scripture says : " O most mighty, great, and 
powerful, the Lord of Hosts is Thy name; great in 
counsel, and incomprehensible in thought," Jer. xxxii. iS. 
" Behold God is great, exceeding our knowledge ; the 
number of His years is inestimable,"' Job xxxvi. 26. 


" He dwelleth in light inaccessible, whom no man hath 
seen, nor can see," i Tim. vi. i6. "The Lord is the 
everlasting God, who hath created the ends of the earth; 
He shall not faint nor labour, neither is there any search- 
ing out of His wisdom," Jer. xl. 28. "We shall say much, 
and yet shall want words; but the sum of our words is, 
He is all. What shall we be able to do to glorify Him? 
For the Almighty Himself is above all His works. The 
Lord is terrible, and exceeding great, and His power is 
admirable. Glorify the Lord as much as ever you can, 
for He will yet far exceed; and His magnificence is 
wonderful. Blessing the Lord, exalt Him as much as 
you can, for He is above all praise. When you exalt 
Him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary; for 
you can never go far enough," Ecclus. xliii. 29, &c. 

Q. 19. Is God capable of changing? 

A. No; God is always the same, and altogether in- 
capable of any manner of change whatever. Thus the 
Holy Scripture declares, " God is not as man that He 
should lie, nor as the son of man that He should be 
changed; " Num. xxiii. 19. And God Himself says, "I am 
the Lord, and I change not," Mai. iii. 6. Hence 
the royal Prophet shows this great difference between 
God and creatures, that " they shall perish," says he to 
God, "but Thou remainest; and all of them shall grow 
old like a garment, and as a vesture Thou shalt change 
them, and they shall be changed ; but Thou art always 
the self-same, and Thy years shall not fail," Ps. ci. 27. 
And St James declares, that with " God there is no 
change, nor shadow of alteration," James, i. 17. 

Q. 20. Why then is God said to be sorry, to repent, to 
be afigry, or the like ? 

A. These are only figurative expressions, accommo- 
dated to our way of conceiving things, and only mean. 

OF GOD. 13 

that God so acts in His external conduct as if such 
changes actually happened in Him ; but, as " the works 
of all flesh are before Him, and there is nothing hid 
from His eyes, and as He sees from eternity to eternity, 
and there is nothing wonderful before Him" (Ecclus. 
xxxix. 24), so nothing can be new to Him ; past, present, 
and to come, are all continually /;tj^;// to Him : nothing 
can happen in time but He sees from eternity ; hence 
nothing can make any new impression in Him, or cause 
any change to sorrow, anger, or repentance in Him. 




Q. I . "\ ^ r HAT do you understand by the Trmify ? 

V V A. 1 understand that there is but one 

living and true God, and that in God there are three 

distinct Persons, called the Father, the Son, and the 

Holy Ghost. 

Q. 2. What do you mean by Otic God? 

A. I mean that the Divine Nature, the Divine Sub- 
stance, the Divinity, or the Godhead, which all signify 
the same, is but one — and therefore that God is one ; and 
that there cannot possibly be more than one such divine 
Nature, nor more than one God, seeing that God is im- 
mense and infinite, and fiUeth all places and all things. 

Q. 3. How does the unity of God appear from Scrip- 

A. In Scripture it is thus declared : " Hear, O Israel, 
the Lord thy God is one Lord," Deut. vi. 4. And all 
the wonderful things that God did for His people, when 
He brought them out of the land of Egypt, are declared 
to have been wrought expressly that " they might know 
that the I^ord He is God, and beside Him there is no 
other," Deut. iv. 35. And God Himself, by Moses, 
says : " See ye that I alone am, and there is no other 
God besides Me ; I will kill, and will make alive ; I will 


strike, and I will heal ; and there is none that can deliver 
out of my hand," Deut. xxxii. 39. And by Isaiah, He says, 
*' I am the first and the last, and besides Me there is no 
God," Isa. xliv. 6. Hence He expressly commands us, 
" Thou shalt have no other God but Me," Exod. xx. 

Q. 4. Can it be shown from the Old Testament that 
there are three Persons in God ? 

A. Yes, it can ; " For God said, Let Us make man to 
Our image and likeness," Gen. i. 26, where these words, 
God said, show the unity of the Godhead ; and these 
other, Ld Us make, and to Our image, show the plurality 
of the Persons. So also, " God said, Lo, Adam is be- 
come as one of Us, knowing good and evil," Gen. iii. 22, 
where the same truth appears. Again, " The Lord said 
to my Lord, . . . from the womb, before the day-star, I 
begot Thee," Ps. cix. i, 3, where God the Father speaks 
to God the Son as to a distinct person. Also God the 
Son says, " I am appointed King by Him over Sion, 
His holy mountain, preaching His commandment : the 
Lord hath said to Me, Thou art My Son, this day have 
I begotten Thee," Ps. ii. 6, 7. Lastly, " By the Word of 
the Lord the heavens were established, and all the powers 
of them by the Spirit of His mouth," Ps. xxxii. 6, where 
all the three Persons are expressly mentioned, the Lord, 
who is the Father, the IVord of the Lord, who is the 
Son ; and the Spirit of the Lord, who is the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 5. How is the Trinity of the Persons shown from 
the New Testament ? 

A. This appears from several texts of Scripture ; thus, 
our Saviour says, " I will ask the Father, and He will 
give you another Comforter, the Spirit of Truth," John, 
xiv. 16, where the three persons are clearly pointed out 
as distinct Persons — to wit, God the Son, who speaks, / 
will ask; God the Father, of whom He promises to ask; 


and God the Holy Spirit, who, He promises, shall be 
given. So also, " There are three who bear testimony 
in heaven — the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, 
and these three are One," i John, v. 7. Here the Trinity 
of the Persons and the Unity of the Godhead are ex- 
pressly declared. Hence the Apostles are commanded 
to baptise " in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost." In the name, and not in the 
names, to show there is but one God ; and " of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," to show 
there are three Persons in God. 

Q. 6. Are these three Persons really distinct among 
Themselves ? 

A. Yes, They are really distinct Persons, as appears 
from the above sentence, spoken by Jesus Christ, where 
He says, " I will ask the Father, and He will give you 
another Comforter . . . the Spirit of Truth," John, xiv. 
16; for one who asks is evidently a distinct person from 
the one of whom he asks; and the one who is given is 
distinct from him by whom he is given. 

Q. 7. How else does it appear that the three Persons 
are distinct among Themselves ? 

A. Because each of the three has certain personal 
properties which the others have not ; and we can say 
with truth of the one what cannot be said of the others. 

Q. 8. What are the personal properties of the Father 
which cannot be said of the Son or of the Holy Ghost ? 

A. That the Father is from no other, neither made, 
nor created, nor begotten ; but is the Origin or Principle 
from whom the other two Persons proceed, and there- 
fore He is called i\-\t first Person, and the Father. 

Q. 9. What are the personal properties of the Son ? 

A. That He is begotten of the Father from all eternity, 
and proceeds from the Father only, and therefore is 


called the second Person, the IVord, and the Sofi of God ; 
accordhig to that text, " Thou art My Son, this day have 
T begotten Thee,"Ps. ii. 7. And again, "The Lord said 
to my Lord, . . . from the womb, before the day-star, I 
begot Thee," Ps. cix. i, 3. Also, " This is My beloved 
Son in whom I am well pleased," Mat. iii. 17. And, 
" God so loved the world, that He gave His only be- 
gotten Son," John, iii. 16. 

Q. 10. What are the personal properties of the Holy 
Ghost ? 

A. That He proceeds both from the Father and the 
Son, and therefore is the third Person, and is called the 
Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of 
Truth : thus God the Son says : '• When the Paraclete 
Cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit 
of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father," John, xv. 26; 
where it is plain that the Holy Ghost is sent by the Son 
from the Father, and therefore must proceed from 
both. Again He says : " The Holy Ghost, whom the 
Father will send in My name, He will teach you all 
things," John, xiv. 26. Here the Holy Ghost is said 
to be sent by the Father in the name of the Son ; in 
the former texts. He is said to be sent by the Son 
from the Father, which shows He is equally sent by 
both, and therefore proceedeth or comes from both. 
Lastly, God the Son says, ^'- He (the Spirit of Truth) 
shall receive of Mine, and shall show it you," John, 
xvi. 14. 

Q. II. Does the distinction of the Persons appear in 
any thing else than in Their personal properties ? 

A. Yes ; it appears also from this, that God the 
Father " spared not even His own Son, but delivered 
Him up for us all," Rom. viii. 32. And Crod the Son 
being thus delivered up by His Father, was made man, 

VOL. I. B 


and died upon the Cross for the sins of the world ; but 
it cannot be said that the Father or the Holy Ghost was 
delivered up, or made man, and died for us ; which 
evidently shows the Son to be a distinct Person from the 
Father and the Holy Ghost. In like manner the Holy 
Ghost appeared in the form of a dove upon our Saviour 
after His baptism, Mat. iii. i6 ; and in the form of fiery 
tongues upon the Apostles on Pentecost, Acts, ii. 3 ; but 
it cannot be said that either the Father or Son appeared 
in this manner ; which shows the Holy Ghost to be a dis- 
tinct Person from them. 

Q. 12. Is the second Person really and truly God, 
equal to the Father from all eternity, and of the same 
substance or nature with Him ? 

A. Yes, He is ; our holy faith assures us of this in the 
strongest terms. Thus, " In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . 
And the Word was made flesh," John, i. i, 14. In which 
text the Word, or the second Person, the same that 7iias 
made flesh, is expressly declared to be God, ajid the Word 
was God. So God the Son declares, " I and the Father 
are one," John, x. 30 — that is, one in substance, one in 
nature, one God. Of the Redeemer, the ruler in Israel, 
it is said, " His going forth is from the beginning, from 
the days of eternity," Mich. v. 2. Of Christ, St Paul 
says, " Who being in the form of God, thought it no rob- 
bery to be equal with God," Philip, ii. 6 ; and again, 
" Christ is over all things, God blessed for ever. Amen," 
— Rom. ix. 5. 

Q. 13. Is the Holy Ghost also true God? 

A. Our holy faith assures us of this also. Thus St 
Peter first said to Ananias, " Why hath Satan tempted 
thy heart, that thou shouldst lie to the Holy Ghost?" 
and then adds, "Thou hast not lied to men, but to God," 



Acts, V. 3, 4. The Divine perfections, also, are attributed 
to the Holy Ghost in Scripture — to wit, immensity : " The 
Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world," Wis. i. 
7 ; and omniscience, " The Spirit {(]f God) searcheth all 
things, yea the deep things of God," i Cor. ii. 10; and 
He is associated with the Father and the Son in baptism, 
as being the same God with Them. 

Q. 14. If all the three Persons be God, and at the 
>ame time be distinct among Themselves, why are They 
not three distinct Gods ? 

A. Because They all three, though distinct Persons, 
have but one and the self-same Divine nature, the same 
Divine substance, the same Godhead. Now the Divine 
nature being infinite and immense, cannot possibly be 
multiplied or more than one, but is the self-same in all 
the three Persons ; who, therefore, are but one and the 
self-same God, have all the same Divine perfections, and 
are equal in all things. 

Q. 15. But how can we conceive or comprehend this? 

A. It is impossible for us to comprehend it. In the 
simplicity of our heart we believe it is so, because God 
Himself has revealed it. He alone perfectly knows and 
comprehends Himself: it is impossible for us, poor finite 
creatures, to know more of Him than what He is pleased 
to discover of Himself to us. Seeing, then, that He has 
revealed that there is but one only God, and that in God 
there are three distinct Persons, this we are to believe as 
a certain and Divine truth, without presuming to search 
further, or to know more about Him than He is pleased 
we should know; for the Scripture says, " He that search- 
eth into Majesty, shall be overwhelmed by glory," Prov. 
XXV. i-j. 




Q. I. \ T THAT do you mean when you say that 
V V God is the Creator ajid Sovereign Lord 
of all things ? 

A. I mean that this one only hving and true God, 
one in substance, and three in Persons, created the 
heavens and the earth, and all that they contain, all 
things visible and invisible ; and that He still continues 
to preserve, govern, and dispose of all things according 
to His own good will and pleasure. 

Q. 2. What do you mean by created all things 1 

A. I mean that God made all things out of nothing, 
by His word alone ; for, as the Scripture expresseth it, 
" He calleth those things that are not, as those that are," 
Rom. iv. 17. "He spoke, and they were made; He 
commanded, and they were created," Ps. cxlviii. 5. " And 
God said. Be light made ; and light was made. . . , And 
God said. Let the waters that are under the heaven be 
gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear ; and 
it was done so," Gen. i. 9. " And God said, Let the earth 
bring forth the green herb ; . . . and it was done so," ; 
Gen. i. 11. And of the Son it is said, "All things were 
made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that 
was made," John, i. 3. Also, " In Him were all things 


created, in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible. 
. . . All things were created by Him and in Him," Col. 
i. 1 6. Lastly, of the Holy Ghost the Scripture says: " In 
the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ; 
. . . and the Spirit of God moved o^'er the waters," Gen. 
i. 2. " His Spirit hath adorned the heavens, and His 
artful hand hath brought forth the winding serpent," Job, 
xxvi. 13. "By the word of the Lord the heavens were 
established, and all the power of them by the Spirit of 
His mouth," Ps. xxxii. 6. " There is one most high 
Creator, almighty and a powerful King, and greatly to be 
feared, who sitteth upon His throne, and is the God of 
dominion, He created her (to wit, wisdom) in the Holy 
Ghost," Ecclus. i. 8, 9. 

Q. 3. Had, then, this world a beginning ? 

A. Yes, it had ; and the Scripture says, " In the be- 
ginning God created the heaven and the earth," Gen. i. i. 

Q. 4. What was there before this world began ? 

A. Nothing but God alone, who had no beginning, 
but was from all eternity, perfectly happy in Himself, and 
in His own Divine perfections. 

Q. 5. Why did God create this world? 

A. Not out of any necessity, or through force, but out 
of His own free will and good pleasure, and for His own 
glory : " for the Lord hath made all things for Himself," 
Prov. xvi. 4. And " Every one that calleth upon My 
name, saith He, I have created him for My glory, I have 
formed him and made him," Isa. xliii. 7. Hence the 
saints in heaven continually cry out to Him, " Thou art 
worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power ; 
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure 
they are and were created," Rev. iv. 11. 

(2- 6. What do you mean by these words, for His 
oion glory .? 


A. I mean that God, by creating intelligent beings, 
capable of knowing and loving Him, and inferior crea- 
tures for their use and benefit, displays to those beings 
His own Divine perfections, His infinite power, wisdom, 
and goodness, that they may give glory to Him, and 
render Him the just homage of love, gratitude, obedi- 
ence, and praise. Thus the Holy Scripture, speaking ot 
the creation of man, says, " God set His eyes upon their 
hearts, to show them the greatness of His works, that 
they might praise the name which He hath sanctified, 
and glory in His wondrous acts," Ecclus. xvii. 7, 8. 

Q. 7. Does God still continue to preserve all things 
in the being which He gave them, or can they subsist 
without Him, once they are made ? 

A. As God alone has being essentially and of Him- 
self, and is independent of any other, so no creature 
has any being at all of itself, but is wholly dependent 
upon God, without whose continual preservation no 
creature could subsist for one instant; so that, were 
God for an instant to withdraw His almighty hand from 
any creature, it would immediately fall back to its primi- 
tive nothingness ; for " He upholdeth all things by the 
word of His power," Heb. i. 3. " He is before all, and 
by Him all things consist," Col. i. 17. And therefore the 
wise man justly said to God, " How could anything 
endure if Thou wouldst not ? or be preserved, if not 
called by Thee?" Wis. xi. 26. On this account, God 
the Son declares that He and His Father are always 
working — to wit, by the continual preservation of all 
creatures. " But Jesus answered them, My Father 
worketh until now, and I work,'" John, v. 17. 

Q. 8. Can God destroy the whole world if He will, 
and in what manner soever he pleases ? 

A. Most undoubtedly; for as all creatures depend 


entirely on Him, and have tlieir very being and all their 
powers and faculties only from Him, and at His plea- 
sure; so He is sole master, to do with all and every 
one of them what He wills, nor is there anything that 
can resist or oppose Him. Hence He says Himself, 
" My word which shall go forth from My mouth, shall 
not return to Me void ; but it shall do whatever I 
please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent 
it," Isa. Iv. II. And the royal Prophet declares that 
" the Lord is great, and our God is above all gods ; 
whatsoever the Lord pleased. He hath done in heaven, 
in earth, in the sea, and in all the depths," Ps. cxxxiv. 
5, 6. " All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as 
nothing before Him ; and He doth according to His 
will, as well with the powers of heaven as among the 
inhabitants of the earth ; and there is none that can 
resist His hand, and say to Him, Why hast Thou done 
it?" Dan. iv. 32. This was the comfort of the ser- 
vants of God in their distress : " We trust, said they, in the 
Almighty Lord, who at a beck can utterly destroy both 
them that come against us, and the whole world," 
2 ]\Lic. viii. 18. And the Holy Scriptures are full of the 
wonderful effects of His almighty power, and of His 
absolute dominion over all His creatures. There we are 
informed that at one time he stopped the course of the 
sun for several hours, that at another He made it even 
go back for ten degrees on the dial, and that He de- 
prived it of its light at the death of Christ; that He 
divided the Red Sea into two, and gave His people a 
passage through the midst of it on dry ground ; that He 
rained down food to them from heaven in the desert ; 
that He gave them water out of the hard rock ; that He 
changed the waters in Egypt into blood, and at the 
marriage of Cana into exquisite wine ; that He hindered 


the fiery furnace from touching His faithful servants who 
were thrown into it ; that He raised the dead to hfe, 
commanded the winds and sea, cured all diseases, cast 
out devils, with many other such wonders, in an instant, 
and by His word alone ; — so that the Scripture justly 
declares, that "the Lord is terrible and exceeding great, 
and His power is admirable," Ecclus. xliii. 31 ; for " He 
only is mighty, the King of kings, and Lord of lords," 
I Tim. vi. 15. 

Q. 9. Can creatures produce any effect, or do any- 
thing of themselves, without the concurrence of Almighty 

A. All the powers which creatures have to produce 
anything are given them by God, and depend en- 
tirely on His preservation ; they therefore are only as 
instruments in His hand for accomplishing His will, of 
which, however, he has no need. They, indeed, can 
act with His concurrence, according to the powers He 
has given them ; but He is the original cause on which 
they and all the effects they produce depend. Thus 
it is God " who covereth the heavens with clouds, and 
prepareth rain for the earth ; who maketh grass to grow 
on the mountains, and herbs for the service of man," 
Ps. cxlvi. 8. Also, " The Most High hath created 
medicines out of the earth, . . . but all healing is from 
God," Ecclus. xxxviii. 2. 4. For " it was neither herb 
nor mollifying plaster that healed them ; but Thy word, 
O Lord, which heals all things," Wis. xvi. 12. So, 
also, Isaiah says : " Lord, Thou wilt give us peace, for 
Thou has wTOught all our works for us," Isa. xxvi. 12. 
And St Paul : " There are diversities of operations ; but 
it is the same God which worketh all in all," i Cor. 
xii. 6. " Neither he that planteth is anything, nor he 
that watereth ; but God that giveth the increase," i Cor. 


iii. 7. For " without Me, saith God Himself, you can 
do nothing," John, xv. 5 ; and " it is God that worketh 
in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His 
good will," Philip, ii. 13. 

Q. 10. Does, then, Almighty God rule, govern, and 
dispose of all creatures according to His will ? 

A. He certainly does; all things belong to Him : " The 
earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and 
all that dwell therein," Ps. xxiii. i. He disposes of all 
things according to His own pleasure ; for " He doth 
according to His will, as well with the powers of heaven 
as among the inhabitants of the earth," Dan. iv. 2>'^. 
He is the King, Lord, and Master of all creatures, and 
rules and governs them, and everything that happens 
among them, according to His eternal purposes : " There 
is one most high Creator, Almighty, and a powerful 
King, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon His 
throne, and is the God of dominion," Ecclus. i. 8. " He 
that liveth for ever created all things together ; God 
only shall be justified, and He remaineth an invincible 
King for ever," Ecclus. xviii. i. "God is the King over 
all the earth : God shall reign over the nations," Ps. 
xlvi. 8, 9. " The Lord shall reign to eternity, yea, for 
ever and ever," Ps. ix. 16. "The Lord is a great God, 
and a great King above all gods ; for in His hand are 
all the ends of the earth, and the heights of mountains 
are His ; for the sea is His, and He made it, and His 
hands formed the dry land," Ps. xciv. 3, 4, 5. " The Lord 
He hath reigned, He hath corrected the world, which 
shall not be moved; He will judge the people with 
justice," Ps. xcv. 10. "He is the King of kings, and 
the Lord of lords," Rev. xix. 1 6. 

Q. II. Does the care and attention of this Sovereign 
Lord extend to all creatures without exception? 


A. The eternal Providence of God watches over all His 
creatures, the least as well as the greatest, with equal care 
and attention ; for " He made the great and the little, 
and He hath equally care of all," Wis. vi. 8. " He hath 
ordered all things in number, weight, and measure," Wis. 
xi. 21. "He telleth the number of the stars, and calleth 
them all by their names," Ps. cxlvi. 4. " Are not two 
sparrows sold for a farthing ? and not one of them shall 
fall on the ground without your Father," Mat. x. 29. 
Also, " Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings ? and 
not one of them is forgotten before God. Yea, the very 
hairs of your head are all numbered," Mat. x. 30 ; and 
without Him " a hair of your head shall not perish," 
Luke, xxi. 18. 

Q. 12. What do you mean by the Providence of God? 

A. The Providence of God is His eternal will, by 
which He disposes of all things whatsoever that come 
to pass, according to his own pleasure, and conducts 
His creatures in the way that He sees most proper to- 
wards the ends and purposes for Avhich He created them. 
It includes three things : First, His infitiite ivisdovi, 
by which He knows all His creatures, and all the good 
of which they are capable, and the ends to which they 
can serve, as also the ways and means by which they 
can acquire that good, and arrive at those ends, with the 
impediments that can hinder them from either. Second- 
ly, His infinite goodness, which inclines Him to will and 
choose for them those means of acquiring the ends for 
which He creates them, that are the most proper and 
conducive thereto, and the fittest and best proportioned, 
and most conformable to the nature and capacity of each 
creature ; and to remove or diminish the hindrances 
they may meet with in doing so. And, thirdly, His 
infinite power, by which He most effectually puts in 


execution, in time, tiiose means which, from all eternity, 
He knew and made choice of, for enabling His creatures 
to obtain the ends He thus proposed to Himself in cre- 
ating them. Thus the Scripture says : " O Lord God, 
Thou hast done the things of old, and hast devised one 
thing after another, and what Thou hast designed hath 
been done ; for all Thy ways are prepared, and in Thy 
providence Thou hast placed Thy judgments," Judith, 
ix. 4, 5. "For in His hands are both we and our works, 
and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works," 
Wis. vii. 1 6. " Wherefore give not thy mouth to cause 
thy flesh to sin, and say not before the angel there is no 
providence, lest God be angry at thy words and destroy 
all the works of thy hands," Ecclus. v. 5. 

Q. 13. Can the Divine Providence be ever mistaken, 
or use improper means for obtaining Its ends, or be dis- 
appointed in obtaining Its designs ? 

A. No, by no means. It is absolutely impossible God 
should either mistake the means or be disappointed in 
His designs ; His infinite wisdom is incapable of mistake, 
and His infinite power quashes all opposition to His 
will : " No evil can overcome His wisdom, it reacheth 
from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly," 
Wis. vii. 30, and viii. i. "All things are in His power, 
and there is none that can resist His will in what He 
determines to be done," Esther, xiii. 9. " I am God," 
says He, "who show from the beginning the things that 
shall be at last, and from ancient times the things that 
as yet are not done, saying. My council shall stand, and 
all My will shall be done," Isa. xlvi. 10. "For He will 
do all that pleaseth Him, and His word is full of power," 
Ecclus. viii. 3. 

Q. 14. Can anything happen by chance in the crea- 
tion ? 


A. A thing is said to happen by chance when it is 
supposed to happen without any cause, or without being 
foreseen or expected, or without design or intention. 
Now, with regard to men, numbers of things happen, as 
it were by chance, in some one or other of these ways ; 
but with regard to God this is absolutely impossible ; 
for the Scripture assures us that " nothing upon earth is 
done without a cause," Job. v. 6 ; that His infinite wisdom 
"sees from eternity to eternity ;" that "nothing is hid 
from His eyes ;" that " He knows the works of all flesh." 
(See above. Chap. I. Q. 8.) So that it is impossible for 
anything to hajjpen but what He foresees from all eter- 
nity; and that "He has made all things in wisdom," 
Ps. ciii. 24 ; and that He orders " all things in number, 
weight, and measure," Wis. xi. 21. Consequently every- 
thing that happens is foreknown by Him, enters into the 
plan of His operations, and is disposed by the Divine 
Providence, according to His eternal purposes. Hence 
" lots are cast into the lap, but they are disposed of by 
the Lord," Pro v. xvi. t^t, ; and this the royal Prophet well 
knew when he said, " Thou art my God, my lots are in 
Thy hands," Ps. xxx. 16 ; " The heart of the king is in 
the hand of the Lord, whithersoever He will He shall 
turn it," Prov. xxi. i. Thus it was not by chance that 
the asses of Saul were lost, or that the Ishmaelite mer- 
chants passed by when Joseph's brethren were going to 
kill him, but by the particular disposition of God's Pro- 
vidence, for accomplishing the ends He had in view. 

Q. 15. Does, then, the Providence of God dispose of 
and direct everything that happens in the creation ? 

A. Yes, it does ; it extends to all creatures, and to all 
things, whether good or evil; all which it disposes of and 
directs in the way and manner which He knows to be 
most conducive to His own wise ends and purposes ; so 


that, whatever be the immediate cause by which anything 
is done or produced, Almighty God is the first supreme 
disposer of the whole, and against whose will nothing that 
is, or happens, could possibly exist. In this, however. 
He acts in the most admirable manner, without encroach- 
ing in the smallest degree on the free-will of man, or 
hindering second causes from going on in their natural 
course ; but making use of man's free-will and all second 
causes to accomplish most sweetly, but, at the same time, 
most assuredly, whatever He pleases. 

Q. 16. How does the Providence of God manifest and 
exert itself for the good of His creatures ? 

A. The Scripture assures us that God is the author of 
all good to His creatures, and " that every best gift, and 
every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from 
the Father of lights," James, i. 1 7. And this He manifests 
chiefly in three ways : First, In providing for and bestow- 
ing upon all and every one of His creatures whatever is 
necessary for, and conducive to, their good and happiness, 
conformable to their state and condition, and according 
to the ends He has in view for them. Scco?idly, In 
preserving them or delivering them from the evils that 
are contrary to these ends. Thirdly, In guiding and 
governing them towards these ends. All which the Scrip- 
ture points out to us in the clearest and most affecting 
manner. And, isf, that He provides all the good things 
that we enjoy : "The eyes of all hope in Thee, O Lord, 
and Thou givest them meat in due season; Thou openest 
Thy hand and fillest with Thy blessing every living crea- 
ture," Ps. cxliv. 15, 16. " Who provideth food for the 
raven when her young ones cry to God, wandering about, 
because they have no meat?" Job, xxxviii. 41. "Who 
hath sent out the wild ass free," says God, " and who hath 
loosed his bounds? to whom I have given a house, in the 


wilderness, and his dwelling in the barren land," Job, 
xxxix. 5, 6. " Behold the birds of the air, for they neither 
sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your 
heavenly Father feedeth them. . . . Consider the lilies of 
the field, how they grow ; they labour not, neither do they 
spin; but I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glorj' 
was not arrayed like one of these. And if the grass of the 
field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, 
God doth so clothe, how much more you, O ye of little 
faith?" Mat. vi. 26, &c. "All things work together for 
good to them that love God," Rom. viii. 28 ; and there- 
fore " cast all your care on Him, for He hath care of 
you," I Pet. V. 7. " Cast thy care upon the Lord, and 
He shall sustain thee. He will not suffer the just to waver 
for ever," Ps. liv. 23 ; " It was neither herb nor mollifying 
plaster that healed them, but Thy word, O Lord, which 
healeth all things," Wis. xvi. 12. 2dly^ That He preserves 
and delivers His creatures from evil : " God is our refuge 
and strength, a helper in troubles, which have found us 
exceedingly," Ps. xlv. i. " Blessed is he who hath the 
God of Jacob for his protector — Who executeth judgment 
for them that suffer wrong ; Who giveth food to the 
hungry : the Lord looseth them that are fettered ; the 
Lord giveth sight to the blind : the Lord keepeth ' the 
strangers; He will support the fatherless and the widow," 
Ps. cxlv. 9. " The Lord healeth the broken of heart, and 
bindeth up their bruises," Ps. cxlvi. 3. " He hath given 
His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways : 
in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy 
foot against a stone," Ps. xc. 11, 12. And indeed the whole 
Scripture is full of this tVuth, and of the most striking exam- 
ples of His Divine Providence, in preserving His creatures 
from evil, and even of turning the trials of His servants 
to their greater good. Witness His conduct towards His 


people in the wilderness, the history of Joseph, Job, 
Daniel, the three children, Elijah, and many others. 
ldl}\ That He guides and governs His creatures towards 
their good, and the ends He has in view for them : the 
Divine wisdom " goeth about seeking such as are worthy 
of her, and she showeth herself cheerfully to them in the 
ways, and meeteth them with all providence," Wis. vi. 
17. " In all thy ways think on God, and He will direct 
thy steps," Prov. iii. 6. " Thus saith the Lord, I am 
the Lord thy God, that teach thee profitable things, that 
govern thee in the way that thou walkest," Isa. xlviii. 17. 
•' The Lord ruleth me, and I shall want nothing. He 
hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me 
up on the waters of refreshment ; He hath converted my 
soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice," Ps. 
xxii. I. 2, 3. 

(2- 17. How does the Providence of God enter into 
the evils of creatures ? 

A. The evils of creatures are of two kinds — to wit, 
the evil of sin, and the evil of suffering. The cinl of 
sill resides in the perverse will of man consenting to 
anything which is against the law of the Almighty : all 
evils of this kind God only permits. The evil of suffer- 
ing includes all the afflictions, pains, and miseries, by 
which creatures suffer, whether in mind or body : all 
evil of this kind, from whatever immediate occasion it 
arises, is ordained, intended, and expressly willed by 
Almighty God. 

Q. 18. How does God permit the evil of sin? 

A. The Scripture assures us that God hates sin, that 
He abhors it as a most grievous injury done to Himself, 
that He cannot look upon iniquity, and that He ex- 
pressly forbids His creatures ever to commit it, under 
pain of the severest and most dreadful punishments 


Hence it is manifestly impossible that He should ever , 
will sin, or intend it in any creature, and much less that 
He should be the cause or author of it; for this would 
be acting against Himself, which is totally inconsistent 
with His infinite perfection. Seeing, however, that sin 
is actually committed by His creatures, and His laws 
numberless times are transgressed by them, all which 
God could hinder, if He pleased, but does not hinder, 
it necessarily follows that He only permits this to hap- 
pen. That is to say, God has endowed some of His 
creatures with knowledge and free-will, and from them He 
requires a voluntary service; He sets good and evil, life 
and death, before them, and leaves them to the freedom 
of their own will to choose the one or the other; He 
proposes to them the most powerful motives to induce 
them to choose the good, and threatens them with the 
worst of miseries to deter them from choosing the evil : 
" Consider," says He, by the prophet Moses, " that I have 
set before thee this day life and good, and on the other 
hand death and evil ; " and a little after, " I call heaven 
and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you 
life and death, blessing and cursing ; choose, there- 
fore, life, that both thou and thy seed may live," Deut. 
XXX. 15, 19. And the wise man assures us "that God 
made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand 
of his own counsel. ... He hath set water and fire before 
thee ; stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt. Before 
man is life and death, good and evil ; that which he 
chooseth shall be given him," Ecclus. xv. 14. He is always 
ready, however, to assist them to choose and execute 
the good ; for " God is faithful. Who will not suffer you 
to be tempted above what you are able, but with the 
temptation will also make issue (that is, a way to escape), 
that you may be able to bear it," i Cor. x. 13; but He 


will not force them to this, nor oblige them to good 
against their free-will. When, therefore, they choose the 
evil, He leaves them to their own choice, and permits the 
sin they commit; for " He hath commanded no man to 
do wickedly, and He hath given no man license to sin," 
Ecclus. XV. 21. But in thus permitting sin, we must 
not imagine He does so either out of sloth, impotence, 
or negligence. Man often pemiits things that are disa- 
greeable to him out of mere indolence, or through care- 
lessness and indifference, or because he cannot help it; 
it is not so with God. God is incapable of sloth or care- 
lessness, and is far from being indifferent about what His 
creatures do; at the same time He is perfectly able to 
hinder and prevent them from sinning, if He pleases. 
But He permits sin, because it is His will to permit it, 
because He has the most just and wise reasons to per- 
mit it, because it enters into the plan of His providence, 
and contributes to the great end of His creating this uni- 
verse ; and therefore He has, from all eternity, resolved 
and decreed to permit it; and in permitting it He dis- 
plays, in the most admirable manner. His Divine per- 
fections, by making it an occasion of infinitely greater 
good, both for exalting His own glory, and advancing the 
perfection of His creatures. 

Q. 19. What do you mean when you say that God 
wills the ruil of suffcriijg ? 

A. That all the pains, sufferings, and afflictions, of 
whatever kind, that any creatures endure, whether in 
mind or body, are ordained, decreed, and sent upon 
them by God; that He expressly wills all their sufferings, 
is the chief cause and author of them, and the first and 
sovereign source from which they flow, whatever be their 
immediate cause or occasion. This is a truth every- 
where displayed to us in the sacred Scriptures. " Good 

VOL. I. c 


things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are 
from God," Eccles. xi. 14. " The Lord killeth and 
maketh alive. He bringeth down to the grave and bring- 
eth back again. The Lord maketh poor and maketh 
rich. He humbleth and He exalteth," i Kings (Sam.), 
ii. 6. 7. " See ye that I alone am, and there is no other 
God besides Me ; I will kill and I will make alive, I 
will strike and I will heal ; and there is none that can 
deliver out of My hand," Deut. xxxii. 39. " I am the 
l^ord, and there is none else ; I form the light and create 
darkness ; I make peace and create evil, I the Lord that 
do all these things," Isa. xlv. 6, 7. " Shall there be evil 
in a city which the Lord hath not done ? " Amos, iii. 6. 
And wherever we find Almighty God foretelling by His 
prophets the sufferings and calamities of His people, He 
always declares Himself to be the author of them : " I 
will visit you with poverty ; . . . I will send in upon you 
the beasts of the field to destroy you ; . . . I will bring 
in upon you the sword, I will send the pestilence in the 
midst of you ; . . . I will destroy your land — I will 
scatter you among the Gentiles," Lev. xxvi. " I will 
raise up evil against them," and the like, are the expres- 
sions He uses on such occasions. And hence we find 
that all the holy servants of God, whenever they met with 
any disasters, immediately referred them all to God as 
tlie sovereign cause and author, and received them 
with resignation, as coming from His hand. Thus 
Job, in the midst of his severe afflictions, cried out, 
" The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ; as 
it hath pleased the Lord so is it done ; blessed be the 
name of the Lord," Job, i. 21. And a little after he 
adds, " If we have received good things at the hand of 
God, why should we not receive evil?" Job, ii. 10. So 
when God, by His prophet Samuel, foretold to the high- 


priest, Heli, all the ruin and misery that He was to send 
upon his family, he immediately replied, " It is the Lord, 
let Him do what is good in His sight," i Kings (Sam.), 
iii. 18. David also, when cursed by Semei, acknow- 
ledged this great humiliation to be from God, and said, 
" The Lord hath commanded him to curse David, and 
who shall dare say. Why hath He done so ? " 2 Kings 
(Sam.), xvi. 10. And Christ Himself acknowledged all 
His sufferings as coming from God His Father, when 
He said, " The cup that My Father hath given Me, shall 
I not drink it?" John, xviii. 11. Hence Solomon, 
comprehending all the goods and evils of this life under 
the expression of the good and the evil day, says, " For 
God hath made both the one and the other, that man 
may not find against Him any just complaint," Eccles. 
vii. 15. 

Q. 20. But how is it consistent with the goodness of 
God to render His creatures miserable by sufferings and 
afflictions ? 

A. It is impossible that the infinite goodness of God 
should render His creatures miserable from any pleasure 
He takes in their sufferings as such ; or that He should 
directly intend or will their sufferings as an object which 
is in itself agreeable to Him. He, therefore, never 
sends any affliction upon them but with a view to some 
greater good, relating either to His own glory, which is 
the supreme end of the creation, or the happiness of the 
creatures themselves ; either for the exaltation of His 
own Divine justice in punishing sinners, for the correc- 
tion of the wicked, or for the preservation and improve- 
ment of the good ; either in punishing past sins in those 
whom He afflicts, or in preserving them from sin for the 
time to come. Hence all the sufferings of this life are 
the effects of sin ; and the voluntary abuse we make of 


our free-will is the cause that obliges or moves Al- 
mighty God to send them. Thus the holy Sarah, in 
her prayer to God, says, " For Thou art not delighted 
in our being lost; because after a storm Thou makest a 
calm ; and after tears and weeping Thou pourest in joy- 
fulness," Tob. iii. 2 2. Where we see that God takes no 
delight in our sufferings, and only sends them with a 
view to good, bringing from them peace and joy, so 
also " God made not death, neither hath He pleasure 
in the destruction of the living, for He created all 
things that they might be, and He made the nations 
of the earth for health ; and there is no poison or 
destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon earth 
(for justice is perpetual and immortal). But the wicked 
with works and deeds have called it to them," Wis. i. 
13. "As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of 
the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and 
live," Ezech. xxxiii. 11. And therefore He declares, by 
another prophet, " Destruction is thy own, O Israel ; thy 
help is only in Me," Hosea, xiii. 9. 

Q. 21. That all those sufferings which arise from 
natural or innocent causes — such as diseases, famine, 
pestilence, death, and the like — are sent expressly from 
God, and that He is the principal cause and author of 
them, it is easy to conceive ; because there is no sin in 
these things, and the occasions of them are incapable of 
sin ; but as for those sufferings which arise from our own 
sins, or from the sins of others, from their malice, hatred, 
injustice, or cruelty, how can God be the author of these, 
since they arise not from natural or innocent causes, but 
from wickedness and crimes, of which God cannot pos- 
sibly be the author ? 

A. This difficulty often proves a stumbling-block to 
souls, and leads to a pernicious delusion; for falsely 


imagining that God cannot be the author or cause of 
those sufferings which arise from the crimes of men, 
they attribute them solely to the mistake, hatred, or 
malice of their fellow-creatures, and seek from this to 
justify their own impatience, passion, and desire of 
revenge. But this is a very great mistake ; for it is a 
certain truth, that though God only indeed permits the 
crimes, of which our sufferings are the effects, yet these 
sufferings He as positively wills, and has from all 
eternity as expressly decreed to send upon us, as any 
others which flow from the most innocent cause. To 
understand this, we must carefully distinguish between 
the sin committed, and the effects which flow from it. 
The sin resides precisely in the perverse will of him com- 
mitting it. The effects which flow from the sin are the 
sufferings which it occasions in others. The sin in him 
who commits it, God only pemiits, because He is in- 
capable of willing sin, or of being the cause or author of 
it ; yet from all eternity He foresaw it, and from all eter- 
nity, for His own most wise and just reasons, decreed to 
permit it. Now, what were these reasons ? He foresaw 
that this sin, if permitted, would be the occasion of suffer- 
ings to others. He takes no pleasure in the suflerings of 
His creatures, and would never allow them to be afflicted, 
unless for some good end, either in justice or in mercy. 
No sufferings can come upon them against His will ; for 
" not a hair of our head falls to the ground without Him." 
It is equally impossible that He should be indifferent 
to the sufferings of His creatures ; this His infinite good- 
ness forbids. We must conclude, therefore, that as all 
the sufferings of this life, as we have seen above. Ques- 
tion 20, are either punishments or benefits, and as such 
expressly willed and decreed from eternity by God — the 
punishments by His justice, the benefits by His mercy — 


consequently, thougli God only pemiits the sin in the one 
who commits it, yet He expressly wills the sufferings of 
others, which are its effects ; and the reason of the sin 
being so permitted is, that it may serve as an instrument 
in the hand of God for executing upon those who suffer 
what He has decreed from eternity to inflict upon them. 
Hence we find in Scripture that when God Almighty 
foretells, by His prophet, sufferings and afflictions. He 
always declares Himself to be the author of them, even 
though the means by which they are inflicted are of the 
most criminal nature. Thus, when the prophet Nathan 
reproved David for the sins of adultery and murder which 
he had committed, he says, in the name of God, " Thus 
saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out 
of thy own house, and I will take thy wives before thy eyes, 
and give them to thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy 
\^'ives in the sight of the sun," 2 Kings (Sam.), xii. 11. 
Here is a most severe sentence passed upon David by 
the Divine justice, which God foretells He Himself would 
execute upon him ; and, therefore, which He positively 
wills and decrees that David should undergo. His in- 
finite wisdom could have executed this sentence by many 
different means ; but He foresaw that David's own son 
Absalom, pushed on by his ambition, would rebel against 
his father, and abuse his wives. God could easily have 
hindered Absalom from committing such crimes, or have 
prevented the execution of them ; but He was pleased 
to leave him to the freedom of his own will, and make 
use of his crimes as the instrument for executing the 
punishment He had decreed to inflict on David. 

When Jeroboam, king of Israel, provoked God to 
anger by his idolatry, the prophet Ahias declared to 
him, in the name of God, tlie punishment which God 
had decreed to send upon him. " Thus saith the Lord, 


Behold I will bring evils upon the house of Jeroboam, 
. . . and I will sweep away the remnant of the house 
of Jeroboam, as dung is swept away, till all be clear," 
3 Kings, xiv. 10. How was this sentence executed? 
By rebellion, conspiracy, and the most shocking cruelty. 
" In the reign of Nadab son of Jeroboam, Baasa con- 
spired against him, and slew him, and reigned in his 
place ; and when he was king, he cut off all the house 
of Jeroboam. He left not so much as one soul of his 
seed till he had utterly destroyed him, according to the 
word of the Lord, which He had spoken in the hand 
of Ahias the Silonite," 3 Kings, xv. 27. The crimes 
of Baasa, in conspiring against his sovereign and killing 
him, were the effects of his ambition; and his cruelty 
in murdering all the family of Jeroboam was a stroke 
of worldly policy to secure his own possession of the 
throne ; but whilst thus gratifying his own passion, he 
was, though unknown to himself, only an instrument of 
the Divine justice in punishing the sins of Jeroboam, 
and executing the decrees of the Almighty on the family 
of that unhappy prince. No doubt God could have 
prevented the crimes of Baasa, and have executed His 
own sentence on Jeroboam by other means ; but know- 
ing Baasa's perverse heart. He permitted him to follow its 
suggestions, so that the crimes he committed were from 
himself, by God's permission ; but the effects which they 
produced in the family of Jeroboam were expressly 
willed, decreed, and foretold by Almighty God. In like 
manner when Satan, by God's permission, after having 
brought so many miseries upon Job, and reduced him to 
the most distressing state, appeared a second time 
before God, "The Lord said to Satan, Hast thou con- 
sidered My servant Job . . . still keeping his innocence ? 
But thou hast moved Me against him, that I should afflict 


him without a cause," Job, ii. 3. In which words God 
Himself declares that He was the author of his afflic- 
tions — Satan and the other means being only instruments 
for executing His will. 

Many other examples of the same kind are found 
in holy writ ; but the following one is particularly con- 
clusive. When St Peter and St John, having been 
taken up and examined regarding the cure of the lame 
man, were set at liberty, and returned "to their own 
company, they related all that the chief priests and an- 
cients had said to them. Who having heard it, with one 
accord they lifted up their voice to God, and said. Lord, 
thou art He that didst make heaven and earth, the sea, 
and all things that are in them, who by the Holy Ghost, 
by the mouth of our Father David, hast said, Why did 
the Gentiles rage, and the people meditate vain things ? 
the kings of the earth stood up, and princes assembled 
together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For, 
of a truth, there assembled together, in this city, against 
Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, Herod, 
and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and people of 
Israel, to do what Thy hand and counsel decreed to be 
done," Acts, iv. 23, (S:c. And St Peter, in his first ser- 
mon to the Jews on Pentecost, affirms the same truth, in 
these words: "Jesus of Nazareth . . . being delivered 
up by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God, 
you, by the hands of wicked men, have crucified and 
slain," Acts, ii. 23. In both which places it is positively 
declared that all the sufferings and death of Christ were 
expressly decreed by God, who had previously foretold 
them by the mouth of His holy prophets ; yet the sins of 
tlie Jews and Gentiles, in what they did to Christ, were of 
the deepest dye ; these sins were not from God, but from 
the malice of their own hearts, and the abuse of their 


free-will ; this God only permitted, but He expressly willed 
the consequences of their crime in the sufferings and 
death of Jesus, The same is to be said in all similar 
cases : whatever troubles and afflictions come upon us by 
the malice, hatred, mistakes, or sins of others, or even of 
ourselves, we are to consider them all as positively willed 
and sent upon us by Almighty God ; the sins committed 
He only permits, but our sufferings which flow from them 
He expressly wills, and has, from all eternity, decreed ; 
and whereas, if He thought proper. He could inflict 
these sufferings by many other means, yet knowing the 
voluntary abuse which we or our fellow-creatures will 
make of our free will. He permits it, and thus uses our 
sins as the instruments of executing His will. 

This is precisely the light in which all the holy ser- 
vants of God consider their afflictions ; for, from what- 
ever immediate source they come, they receive them all 
as from the hand of God — they look upon the malice and 
crimes of those who injure them merely as the instru- 
ments which He uses for their punishment, or correction 
and advancement in virtue, and as such they love 
them and do them good. To the examples of this truth 
mentioned above, Q. 19, add these others : When Joseph 
made himself known to his brethren, considering all the 
cruel treatment he had received from them as the orders 
of the Divine Providence, he comforted them, and said, 
" Be not afraid, and let it not seem to you a hard case 
that you sold me into these countries, for God sent me 
before you into Egypt for your preservation." A little 
after he repeats the same, and adds, " not by your coun- 
sel was I sent hither, but by the will of God," Gen. xlv. 
5, 8. And after his father's death, when they feared 
he would then revenge the injuries they had done him, 
and sent a message, asking his forgiveness, he wept for 


concern on their account, and said, " Fear not ; can 
we resist the will of God ? you thought evil against me ; 
but God turned it into good, that He might exalt me as 
at present you see, and might save many people : Fear 
not, I will feed you and your children ; and he comforted 
them, and spoke gently and mildly," Gen. 1. 21. And 
our Saviour received the cup of His passion in no other 
light but as sent by His Father, and considered His 
enemies only as the instnuiients made use of by Him. 
He also earnestly prayed for them with His last breath 
upon the Cross, instead of bearing any resentment against 
them. Oh, happy those who seriously consider these 
truths, and imitate these holy examples ! They already 
enjoy a foretaste of heaven itself, even in the midst of 
this valley of tears ; no evil can come near them ; for 
what the mistaken world calls evi7 is to them a real good, 
a source of joy and consolation. In everything they see 
the finger of God, in everything they adore His Divine 
Providence, in everything they rejoice for the accomplish- 
ment of His will : and hence they learn, by the most 
endearing experience, that "all things work together for 
good to them that love God," Rom. viii. 28. 




Q- I. AT THO are the principal creatures that God 
V V made in the world ? 

A. Angels and men. 

Q. 2. Why are they the principal or chief of all others ? 

A. Because they are endowed with understanding and 
free-will, by which they are capable of knowing and loving 
God, of which none of the other creatures are capable. 

Q. 3. For what end, then, were the other creatures 
made ? 

A. For the use and benefit of man, to excite him to 
love, praise, and adore his Creator, for the numberless 
services he receives from these creatures. 

Q. 4. Who are the angels ? 

A. Pure spirits without any body : " He made his 
angels spirits," Ps. ciii. 4. 

Q. 5. In what state did God create the angels? 

A. In a most excellent and happy state ; for (i.) He 
made them of a spiritual and incorruptible nature. (2.) 
He gave them a most sublime understanding, capable 
of, and endowed with, exceeding great knowledge. (3.) 
He made them ^'- Alighty hi strength" Ps. cii. 20. And 
(4.) Besides these natural excellences, He adorned them 
with the supernatural gift of His Divine grace and hea- 
venly beauty. 


Q. 6. For what end did He create them ? 

A. That they might be always in His own presence, 
" Their angels always see the face of My Father who is 
in heaven," Mat. xviii. lo; assisting at His throne, for 
"Thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten 
thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him," 
Dan. vii. lo; and executing His orders throughout the 
rest of the creation, for they " Executed His word, hear- 
kening to the voice of His orders," Ps. cii. 20. 

Q. 7. Did they continue in this happy state ? 

A. The greater part of them did, and are now con- 
firmed in glory : but many of them fell by sin, and are 
now devils in hell. 

Q. 8. What was the sin by which they fell ? 

A. It was pride, arising from the great beauty and sub- 
lime graces which God had bestowed upon them. For, 
seeing themselves such glorious beings, they fell in love 
with themselves, and, forgetting the (iod that made them, 
wished to be on an equality with their Creator. 

Q. 9. What were the consequences of their crime ? 

A. They were immediately deprived of all their super- 
natural graces and heavenly beauty : they were changed 
from glorious angels into hideous devils; they were ban- 
ished out of heaven, and condemned to the torments of 
hell, which was prepared to receive them. 

Q. 10. Who was the chief of these fallen angels ? 

A. He was called Lucifer before his fall, which signi- 
fies one that carries light along with him, from the ex- 
ceeding great splendour with which God had adorned 
him above his fellows ; and since his fall, he is called 
Satan, or the Adversary, because he is the enemy both of 
God and man ; he is also called the Devil. 

Q. II. What account doth the Scripture give of all 
this ? 


A. It is as follows : In the prophet Ezekiel, under the 
figure of the king of Tyre, the beauty and fall of the angels 
is thus described : " Thus saith the Lord God, Thou wast 
the seal of resemblance, full of wisdom, and perfect in 
beauty : Thou wast in the pleasure of the paradise of God. 
. . . Thou wast a cherub stretching out thy wings. . . . 
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day of thy crea- 
tion until iniquity was found in thee. Thou wast filled 
with iniquity ; thou hast sinned, and I cast thee out from 
the mountain of God and destroyed thee, O covering 
cherub. And thy heart was filled up with thy beauty. 
I have cast thee to the ground," Ezech. xxviii. And the 
prophet Isaiah thus speaks to Lucifer, the chief of the 
fallen angels, under the figure of the king of Babylon : 
" How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer! . . . Thou 
saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will 
exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the 
mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I 
will ascend above the height of the clouds. I will be 
like the Most High. But yet thou shalt be brought 
down to hell, into the depth of the pit," Isa. xiv. 12. 
And at the last day the Judge will say to the wicked, 
" Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, pre- 
pared for the devil and his angels," Mat. xxv. 41. Their 
fall is also thus described by St John : " And there was 
a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought 
with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. 
And they prevailed not, neither was their place found 
any more in heaven ; and the great dragon was cast out, 
that old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who 
seduceth the whole world," Rev. xii. 7, 8, 9 ; for " God 
spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, 
drawn down by infernal ropes, to the lower hell into 
torments," 2 Peter, ii. 4. " And the angels Avho kept 


not their principality, but forsook their own habitation, 
He hath reserved under darkness, in everlasting chains, 
unto the judgment of the great day," Jude, verse 6. 
" And the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the 
pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast and the 
false prophet shall be tormented day and night, for ever 
and ever," Rev. xx. 9. 




Q. 1. T T THAT kind of a being is man ? 

V V A. Man is a being composed of soul 
and body. 

Q. 2. What is his body made of? 

A. The dust of the earth. 

Q. 3. What is his soul made of? 

A. It is created by God out of nothing. 

Q. 4. For what end did God create man ? 

A. To know, love, and serve Him during the short 
course of his pilgrimage in this world, and then to be 
taken up to heaven, and be happy in the possession and 
enjoyment of God Himself for all eternity. 

Q. 5. Is this possession of God in heaven due to the 
nature of man ? 

A. By no means ; it was wholly an effect of the in- 
finite goodness of God, to create man for such a glorious 
and supernatural end ; to communicate to him the riches 
of His mercy, and make him supremely blest in the clear 
vision and enjoyment of Himself for ever. 

Q. 6. Who were the first of mankind that God created ? 

A. Adam and Eve, who are our first parents, and from 
whom all mankind are descended. 

Q. 7. In what manner did God create them ? 



A. He formed the body of Adam " out of the dust of 
the earth, and then breathed into him the breath of Hfe," 
Gen. ii. 7 — that is, created his soul out of nothing to 
animate that body, " and Adam became a hving soul," 
Ibid. ■' Then causing a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, 
He took out one of his ribs, filling up its place with 
flesh ; and the Lord God built the rib which He took 
from Adam into a woman, and brought her to Adam," 
Gen. ii. 21. 

Q. 8. To whose image and likeness did He create 

A. " God created man to His own image ; to the 
image of God He created him; male and female He 
created them," Gen. i. 27. 

Q. 9. In what does this likeness consist ? 

A. In several things : for (i.) as there is but one only 
God, and three Persons in one God ; so in man there is 
but one soul, and in this one soul there are three powers, 
the will, memory, and understanding, by which man, in 
some sense, resembles the ever-blessed Trinity. (2.) As 
God is a Spirit, and immortal, so the soul of man is a 
spirit, and will never die. (3.) As God is the sovereign 
Lord of all things, and. does in all creatures whatever He 
pleases, so He endowed man with free-will, and made 
him the visible sovereign over all the other creatures of 
this earth. " Let Us make man," says God, " to Our 
image and likeness ; and let him have dominion over the 
fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the whole 
earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the 
earth," Gen. i. 26. 

Q. I o. In what state did God create our first parents ? 

A. In the state of innocence, grace, and happiness. 

Q. 11. What do you mean by ^/le state of innoce7ice 2 

A. That at their creation they were free from the 


smallest pollution of sin, and pure and unspotted before 
God. " This I know, that God made man upright," 
Eccles. vii. 30. 

Q. 12. What do you mean by t/ie state of grace? 

A. That they were adorned with the grace of God, 
called also original Justice, or righteousness, which God 
communicated to their souls, making them beautiful and 
truly holy before Him. Thus St Paul, exhorting us to 
be renewed in the spirit to that original justice in which 
our first parents were created, says, " Put on the new 
man, who, according to God, is created in justice and 
holiness of truth,"' Eph. iv. 24. 

Q. 13. Was this original righteousness due to their 
nature ? 

A. By no means ; it was a free gift of the goodness 
of God. 

Q. 14. Why did He bestow it upon them? 

A. Because, as He was pleased out of His great good- 
ness to create them for a supernatural end — to wit, the 
enjoyment of Himself in heaven ; so out of the same 
goodness He bestowed original justice upon them, as 
the necessary help to enable them to attain that end. 

Q. 15. What benefit did they receive from this original 

A. (i.) It sanctified them, or made them truly holy 
before God, objects of His delight and complacency. 
(2.) It subjected all their senses, appetites, and passions 
to reason. (3.) It rendered their reason and their whole 
soul subject to the will of God ; and (4.) It was the 
source and support of the happiness they enjoyed. 

Q. 16. What do you mean by the state of happiness ? 

A. That being free from all stain of sin, and adorned 
A\-ith original justice, they vv^ere on that account free 
from sufferings, and enjoyed a perfect happiness both 

VOL. I. D 


in soul and body, suitable to their nature and the state 
they were in. 

Q. 17. In what did this happiness consist? 

A. Chiefly in the following particulars: (i.) They 
were endowed with great knowledge of everything relat- 
ing to their state and the rest of the creatures. Thus 
" God created man, . , . and created of him a helpmate 
like to himself; He gave them counsel, and a tongue, 
and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise, and He filled 
them with the knowledge of understanding ; He created 
in them the science of the spirit ; He filled their heart 
with wisdom, and showed them both good and evil," 
Ecclus. xvii. 5,6. (2.) They were free from all those pas- 
sions, irregular desires, and appetites which so violently 
torment our souls; for "God made man upright," Eccles. 
vii. 30, and of course they enjoyed a perpetual peace 
and serenity of mind. (3.) Their hearts were incHned 
to all good, and their wills united to God by holy love. 
(4.) Their bodies were free from all sickness and pain, 
and enjoyed a perpetual health. (5.) They were not 
subject to death ; but, after serving God for a time upon 
earth, were to have been translated, both soul and body, 
without passing through the gates of death, to enjoy Him 
for ever in heaven; for " God created man incorruptible," 
Wis. ii. 23. 

Q. iS. Where did God place our first parents when 
He had created them ? 

A. " The Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure 
from the beginning, wherein He placed man whom He 
had formed. And the Lord God brought forth from 
the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold and pleasant 
to eat of. . . . And the Lord God took man, and put 
him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it and to keep 
it," Gen. ii. 8, 9, 15. This was a garden planted by the 


hand of God, and filled with everything that could make 
them happy. 

Q. 19. Were they allowed to eat of all the fruit of this 
garden ? 

A. They were allowed to eat of everything this garden 
produced except the fruit of one tree, which God forbade 
them, under pain of death, to touch. And God " com- 
manded him, saying : Of every tree of paradise thou shalt 
eat ; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou 
shalt not eat ; for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, 
thou shalt die the death," Gen. ii. 16. 

Q. 20. "What means, thou shalt die the death ? 

A. It means, in the day thou eatest of that fruit thou 
shalt immediately die the death of the soul, by committing 
a mortal sin; thou shalt be subjected to the death of the 
bodv, and return to the dust from whence thou art made: 
and after that to the death, both of soul and body, in 
hell-fire for all eternity. 

Q. 21. AVhy did God lay this command upon them? 

A. To exercise their obedience, and be a continual 
testimony of their subjection to God, and of their 
dependence upon Him. 

Q. 22. Did our first parents continue in this happy 
state ? 

A. No ; they fell from it, by transgressing this easy 
command of God their maker, and eating this forbidden 

Q. 23. Who tempted them to commit this crime? 

A. Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, who, appear- 
ing to Eve in the serpent, seduced her to eat of the fruit, 
and she having eaten it herself, carried it to her husband, 
and persuaded him to do the same. 

Q. 24. What account does the Scripture give of this? 

A. "And the serpent said to the woman. Why hath 


God commanded you that you should not eat of every 
tree of paradise ? And the woman answered him, saying, 
Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat ; 
but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of 
paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not 
eat, and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. 
And the serpent said to the woman, No, you shall not 
die the death ; for God doth know, that in what day 
soever you do eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and 
you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And 
the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to 
the eyes, and delightful to behold, and she took of the 
fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband, who 
did eat," Gen. iii. 

Q. 25. What moved the devil to tempt them to this 

A. Envy at their happiness ; for " God created man 
incorruptible — but by the envy of the devil death came 
into the world," Wis. ii. 24; and it was by tempting them 
to this sin that death was introduced, for " By one man 
sin entered into the world, and by sin death," Rom. v. 

Q. 26. What were the consequences of their disobe- 
dience ? Did they become as gods ? 

A. Quite the reverse. Instead of that, they imme- 
diately lost "their innocence," bringing upon themselves 
the dreadful guilt of mortal sin ; they were deprived of the 
sublime treasure of " original justice ; " for by this sin 
the grace of God was banished from their souls, and 
they lost " their happiness," and became miserable both 
in soul and body. In consequence of this, they 
became objects of the wrath and indignation of God, 
whom they had offended, slaves of the devil, whose 
service they had voluntary preferred to the service of 



God, and they lost all right and title to eternal happi- 

Q. 27. In what respect did they become miserable as 
to their soul ? 

A. Their understanding was darkened, and subjected 
to ignorance and error ; their will was turned away from 
God, and violently bent upon evil, and their passions 
rebelled against reason, and tormented their minds. 

Q. 28. How did they become miserable as to their 
bodies ? 

A. Their bodies were subjected to all manner of sick- 
ness and disease, to innumerable pains and torments, to 
death itself in this world, and to be reduced to the dust 
from which they were made, and at last both soul and 
body to hell-fire. 

Q. 29. What does the Scripture say of this ? 

A. " And to the woman God said, I will multiply thy 
sorrows and thy conceptions ; in sorrow shalt thou bring 
forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's 
power, and he shall have dominion over thee. And to 
Adam He said — Cursed is the earth in thy work; with 
labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy 
life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee. . . . 
In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread, till thou 
return to the earth out of which thou wast taken : for 
dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return," Gen. iii. 

Q. 30. Are all mankind born under the guilt of this 
sin of our first parents ? 

A. Yes, they are ; for " By one man sin entered into 
the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon 
all men, in whom all have sinned," Rom. v. 1 2. 

(2-31. What is this sin called in us? 

A. Original sin. 

(2- 32. Why so? 


A. Both because we inherit it from our first parents, 
who were the origin or beginning of all mankind, and 
also because we contract it from the first origin of our 
being — that is, the very moment we are conceived in our 
mother's womb, according to that of the prophet, " Be- 
hold, I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin did my 
mother conceive me," Ps. 1. 7. 

Q. 2,2,. Are we also subjected to all these miseries, 
both of soul and body, which this sin brought upon our 
first parents ? 

A. Yes, we are ; " For we are by nature children of 
wrath," Eph. ii. 3, being all born under the guilt of this 
their sin, and deprived of that original justice in which 
they were created, and on that account subjected to the 
dominion of Satan, and without any right or title to 
heaven, where we can never enter so long as this original 
guilt remains upon our souls — our minds are darkened 
with error and ignorance, as experience itself shows ; 
"The thoughts of our hearts are bent upon evil at all 
times," Gen. v. vi., by which we are daily hurried on to 
the numberless sins we commit ourselves ; and as for the 
torments and pains to which we are liable, both in mind 
and body, who can enumerate them ? " Man born of 
a woman," saith Job, "living for a short time, is filled 
with many miseries," Job, xiv. i. " For what profit hath 
man of all his labour and vexation of spirit, with which 
he has been tormented under the sun ? All his days are 
full of sorrows and miseries ; even in the night he doth 
not rest in mind : and is not this vanity?" Eccles. ii. 22, 




Q. I. T T 7" AS man, in his fallen state, able to make 
V V his peace with God, and remedy his 
own miseries? 

A. No. Fallen man was utterly incapable of taking 
any effectual step towards that end, much less of attain- 
ing it. 

Q. 2. Why so? 

A. Because, to make his peace with God, it was 
necessary the Divine justice should first be satisfied for 
the grievous injury done to God by his disobedience in 
preferring the suggestions of Satan to the command of 
God. And to remedy his miseries, it was necessary he 
should regain the grace of God which he had lost by 
sin; neither of which was it possible for man, in his fallen 
state, to do. 

Q. 3. Why could he not satisfy the justice of God for 
the offence he had committed against Him ? 

A. Because, considering on the one hand the vileness 
of man, who of himself is a mere nothing ; and, on the 
other, the infinite ^Majesty of God, whom this nothing had 
so grievously injured, the malice of the offence was in a 
manner infinite; and therefore the Divine justice required 


a satisfaction of infinite value to equal the offence, and 
make the offender's peace. Now man, a poor sinful crea- 
ture, was incapable of this in the smallest degree. 

Q. 4. Why could not he of himself regain the grace 
of God ? 

A. Because the grace of original justice, which he lost 
by sin, was a free gift of the goodness of God, to which 
man could have no right nor title, even when innocent, 
and was a gift of infinite value ; but by his fall he was 
become positively unworthy of that or any other grace, 
and utterly incapable of doing anything that could move 
God to bestow it upon him. 

Q. 5. Was it possible for the good angels to make 
man's peace with God, and bring a remedy to his 
evils ? 

A. No. It was impossible for any mere creature, 
though ever so pure and holy, to satisfy for the offence 
committed by man in the manner the Divine justice 
required, or to obtain for him the grace he had lost by 
sin. None but God Himself could apply an effectual 
remedy to so great an evil. 

Q. 6. What, then, must have become of our first parents 
if no remedy had been found ? 

A. They, and all of us their posterity, must have been 
lost for ever. 

Q. 7. Were they left, then, by the Divine justice to 
the punishment they deserved, without all remedy ? 

A. God Almighty, out of His incomprehensible jus- 
tice, was pleased to pursue the fallen angels with im- 
mediate punishment without remedy ; but of His infinite 
goodness He had pity and compassion on fallen man, 
and provided a Redeemer for him. 

Q. 8. Who is this Redeemer? 

A. No less a person than God the Son, whom the 


Father promised to send into this world in the fulness of 
time, to remedy all the evils of their fall. 

Q. 9. When was this promise first made ? 

A. When passing sentence on our first parents after 
their fall ; He even then showed the greatness of His 
mercy by promising to send them a Redeemer, who 
should overcome their enemy that had seduced them, 
saying to the serpent, " I will put enmity between thee 
and the woman, and thy seed and her seed ; she shall 
cnish thy head ; and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel,'"' 
Gen. iii. 15. And St John tells us that, "For this pur- 
pose the Son of God appeared, that He might destroy 
the works of the devil," i John, iii. 8. 

Q. 10. Was it long after the fall before this promise 
was fulfilled, by the coming of the Redeemer ? 

A. It was about four thousand years after the creation 
and fall before He appeared in the world, though the 
promise of sending Him was frequently renewed, during 
that time, to the holy servants of God, and all the cir- 
cumstances of His appearance and office were revealed 
to several among them, and by them communicated to 

Q. II. In what condition was mankind during that 
long space of time ? 

A. Soon after the world began to be peopled, men be- 
gan to forsake God, and follow the bent of their corrupted 
nature ; and though God always had a succession of good 
people who adhered to Him, yet vice at last became so 
universal that, " God seeing that the wickedness of men 
was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their 
heart was bent upon evil, at all times, it repented Him 
that He had made man upon the earth : and being 
touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said, I will 
destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the 


earth. , . But Noah found grace before the Lord, for Noah 
was a just and perfect man in his generation, and he 
walked with God. . . And God said to Noah, The end 
of all flesh is come before me ; the earth is filled with 
iniquity through them, and I will destroy them with the 
earth. Make thee an ark of timber planks — behold I 
will bring the waters of a great flood upon the earth to 
destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life under heaven. 
. . . And I will establish My covenant with thee, and thou 
shalt enter into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, 
and the wives of thy sons with thee; and of every living 
creature of all flesh, thou shalt bring two of a sort into 
the ark, that they may live with thee. . . . For yet a while, 
and after seven days, I will rain upon the earth forty 
days and forty nights, and I will destroy every substance 
that I have made from the face of the earth. And jSToah 
did all things which the Lord commanded him. . . . And 
after seven days the waters overflowed the earth. . . . All 
the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the 
flood-gates of heaven were opened ; and the rain fell upon 
the earth forty days and forty nights. . . . And the waters 
overflowed exceedingly, and filled all the face of the 
earth — and they prevailed beyond measure upon the 
earth, and all the high mountains under the whole heaven 
were covered. The water was fifteen cubits higher than 
the mountains which it covered. And all flesh was des- 
troyed that moved upon the earth. . . . And all men, and 
all things wherein there was the breath of life on the 
earth, died. . . . And Noah only remained, and they that 
were with him in the ark," Gen. vi. vii. 

Q. 1 2. Wliat became of them after this ? 

A. When the waters of the deluge were abated, and 
the earth was again dried, " God spoke to Noah, saying, 
Go out of the ark, thou and thy wife, thy sons and the 


wives of thy sons, and all living things that are with thee 
of all flesh . . . bring out with thee, and go ye upon the 
earth; increase and multiply upon it," Gen. viii. 15. 
And they did so, " and God blessed Noah and his sons, 
and said to them. Increase and multiply, and fill the 
earth," Gen. ix. i. 

Q. 13. After so dreadful an example of the Divine 
justice, did the posterity of Noah continue faithful to 

A. For some time they did ; but at last the effects 
of corrupt nature, and the delusions of Satan, began 
again to prevail, and by degrees spread over the whole 
world, insomuch that, after some time, the very know- 
ledge of the true God was almost extinguished from 
the face of the earth, and mankind was drowned in 
idolatry and all manner of crimes, worshipping idols in- 
stead of God, and sacrificing their ov/n children to devils ; 
of which the Scriptures give us the following description : 
" They did works hateful to God by their sorceries and 
wicked sacrifices ; they were merciless murderers of their 
own children, and eaters of men's bowels, and devourers 
of blood ; the parents sacrificing with their own hands 
helpless souls," Wis. xii. 4. St Paul also describes the 
state of their idolatry before the coming of Christ, in 
these words : " They changed the glory of the incorrup- 
tible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible 
man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creep- 
ing things ; they changed the truth of God into a lie, and 
worshipped and served the creature rather than the 
Creator," Rom. i. 23, 25. And as the Holy Ghost declares, 
" That the beginning of fornication is the devising of 
idols, and the invention of them is the corruption of life," 
Wis. xiv. 12; so the apostle goes on to declare the 
shocking abominations which were the consequences of 


their idolatry: "as they hked not to have God in their 
knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, 
to do those things which are not convenient, being filled 
with all iniquity, malice, fornication, covetousness, wicked- 
ness ; full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, 
whispers, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, 
inventors of evil things," &:c., Rom. i. Such is the de- 
scription which the Word of God gives us of the deplor- 
able situation that mankind was in before the Redeemer 
was sent among them. 

Q. 14. "Why did Almighty God leave mankind in this 
sad condition, and so long delay the coming of the Re- 
deemer ? 

A. To teach us, by sad experience, our o\vn extreme 
perverseness, and the dreadful corruption of our nature 
by sin ; to cure the deep wound of pride which sin had 
made in our souls, by letting us see what we are capable 
of when left to ourselves ; to convince us of the great 
need we have of a Redeemer, and to make us receive 
Him with the greater readiness when He should come 
amongst us. 

Q. 15. Did God totally abandon mankind to their 
wicked ways during all that time ? 

A. Far from it; for (i.) He raised up holy men from 
time to time to warn the wicked of their evil ways, and 
exhort them to repentence. {2.) He often punished them 
in a visible and dreadful manner for their crimes, as when 
He drowned the whole world by the deluge, and rained 
down fire and brimstone from heaven to consume the 
wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And (3.) When 
wickedness was still more and more spreading over the 
face of the earth. He chose a whole people, whom He 
separated from the rest of mankind, and by a special 
providence preserved from the general corruption. 


Q. 1 6. Who was this so highly favoured people ? 

A. The posterity of His faithful sei-vant Abraham, 
whose fidelity and obedience God tried many different 
ways, and finding him always constant and uniform in 
his duty, He made choice of him to be the father of His 
chosen people, renewed to him the promise of the Re- 
deemer, and assured him that He should come of His 
posterity: "And the Lord appeared to Abraham, and 
said unto him, I am the Almighty God : walk before Me 
and be perfect ; and I will make My covenant between 
Me and thee, and I will multiply thee exceedingly. . . . 
And thou shalt be father of many nations. . . . And 
kinds shall come out of thee. . . . And I will establish My 
covenant between Me and thee, and between thy seed 
after thee, in their generations, by a perpetual covenant, 
to be a God to thee and to thy seed after thee," Gen. 
xvii. And again, " By Myself have I sworn, saith the 
Lord," to Abraham, " I bless thee, and I will multiply 
thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is 
on the sea-shore ; thy seed shall possess the gates of 
their enemies ; and in thy seed shall all the nations of 
the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed My voice," 
Gen. xxii. i6, 17, 18. 

(2. 17. What did God do for this people, the posterity 
of Abraham ? 

A. He multiplied them into a great nation. He 
watched over them by a special providence, and 
wrought numberless and most amazing miracles in their 
favour and for their defence. He settled them in a 
most excellent land, " flowing with milk and honey," as 
the Scripture expresses it. He gave them by His ser- 
vant Moses a holy law to direct them, written with His 
own hand on tables of stone. He taught them the way 
in which He would be worshipped by them, revealing to 


them His holy religion for that end. He gave them 
His Holy Scriptures for their instruction and consola- 
tion. He sent among them from time to time His holy 
prophets to declare His will to them, and keep them 
steady in His service. He often renewed His promise 
of a Redeemer to several of His holy servants among 
them, and foretold by His prophets all the circumstances 
of His coming, and what He was to do for mankind. 
For all which, see their whole history in Scripture. 

Q. 1 8. How was this people called ? 

A. They were sometimes called Isfaelites, or the chil- 
dren of Israel, from the name of one of their patriarchs ; 
sometimes Jews, from one of their principal tribes, out 
of which the Redeemer was to come ; and sometimes 
the people of God, from the care and protection which 
God had of them, choosing them for His inheritance 
from among all the nations of the earth, and preserving 
them from that deplorable corruption into which all the 
other nations fell. 

Q. 19. Did this people always continue faithful to 
God, and grateful to Him for such special protection 
shown by Him to them ? 

A. Far from it ; they often rebelled against Him, for- 
sook His service, and fell into idolatry and other abomin- 
ations, for which He most severely punished them, till by 
their repentance they regained His favour, and returned 
again to the faithful observance of His law. 

Q. 20. What kind of religion did God institute among 
them ? 

A. The full and perfect manifestation of the will of 
God to man was reserved to be the work of the Re- 
deemer ; but to this people God gave an imperfect revel- 
ation of the truths of eternit}-, such as the grossness of 
their minds and the hardness of their hearts were able to 


receive : their religion, therefore, principally consisted in 
the several kinds of sacrifices of beasts and other crea- 
tures which God instituted to be offered for His honour, 
and in their obedience to the law He had given them. 

Q. 21. Had these sacrifices of beasts and other crea- 
tures any Avorth or value in themselves before God ? 

A. All these sacrifices, and, indeed, all the religion 
which God instituted among this people, were but types 
and figures of the Redeemer then to come, and of the 
perfect religion which was afterwards to be instituted by 
Him, and as such they were agreeable to God ; and 
w^hen offered by the people with a view to the Redeemer, 
and with faith in Him, were most beneficial to them ; 
for from the beginning " there is no other name under 
heaven given to man -whereby we must be saved but the 
name of Jesus only," Acts, iv. 12, So that from the 
beginning, before the Redeemer appeared among men, 
none could be saved but by faith in Him, who was then 
to come ; as none can be saved since His coming but 
by faith in Him, as already come. 

Q. 22. In what condition were the Jews when the Re- 
deemer came among them ? 

A. They still retained the knowledge and worship of 
the true God, according to the law of Moses ; but had 
cormpted the true sense of the law in many things by 
human opinions, and were divided into several different 
sects among themselves. 

Q. 23. In what condition was the rest of mankind 
when the Redeemer came into the world? 

A. All the other nations of the earth, who in Scrip- 
ture language are called t/ic Gentiles^ at the time our 
Saviour appeared, and for many ages before, were sunk 
in those miserable vices which are mentioned above 
((2- 13), and wholly ignorant of the God that made 


them, and of everything else concerning their eternal 

Q. 24. What are those truths of eternity of which 
they were so ignorant, and the knowledge of which is so 
necessary for salvation? 

A. They may all be reduced to these heads : the know- 
ledge of the one true living God that created us ; the 
way of worshipping this great God according to His will ; 
the cause of all our miseries, which is sin or disobedience 
to His law ; the only remedy of sin, and of all our mis- 
eries, which is the grace of a Redeemer ; the great end 
for which we were created, which is the possession and 
enjoyment of God in heaven; and the means on our 
part to obtain this end of our being, which ^xit faith and 
ohedieiice. Of these great and important truths all the 
nations of the earth Avere wholly ignorant, the Jews only 
excepted ; and they had, by their depraved opinions in 
many things, corrupted even that imperfect knowledge 
of them which God had given them. 

Q. 25. Could not man, by the strength of reason and 
study, have attained the knowledge of these things ? 

A. No ; that was absolutely impossible ; for these 
truths are all supernatural; they belong to another 
world ; they do not fall under our senses or reason, so as 
to be examined or investigated by them ; and some of 
them flow entirely from the free-will and appointment of 
Almighty God : so that it was impossible man should 
ever come to the knowledge of them, except God Him- 
self had discovered them to him. And this is proved to 
a demonstration by experience itself, not only from the 
ancient heathens before the Redeemer came, aniong 
whom there were many great men remarkable for their 
strength of genius and learning, who yet could never ac- 
quire any rational knowledge of the above great truths, 


though they often applied themselves with great assiduity 
to study them ; but also from many different nations in 
the remoter regions of the globe, to whom the revelation 
of these truths has not yet reached, and who, though 
endowed with sense and reason not inferior to our own, 
have never been able, to this day, to arrive at any degree 
of knowledge of them. 

Q. 26. Did, then. Almighty God ever reveal those 
truths to mankind ? 

A. He did ; and it was one of the principal offices of 
the Redeemer to bring from heaven to men the know- 
ledge of these Divine truths, and to deliver them from 
the miserable darkness in which they had been involved. 
The deplorable situation they were in before He came, 
with the admirable light He brought among them, is thus 
beautifully described in the Holy Scriptures : Isaiah, fore- 
telling this happy effect of His coming, says, — " The peo- 
ple that walked in darkness have seen a great light ; to 
them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, to 
them light is risen,'' Isa. ix. 2. And God thus speaks 
to the Redeemer by the same prophet : " I have given 
Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gen- 
tiles; that Thou mightest open the eyes of the blind, 
and bring forth the prisoner out of prison, and them that 
sit in darkness out of the prison-house," Isa. xlii. 7. 
Zacharias also, in his prophecy at the birth of St John 
the Baptist, says of the Redeemer : "Through the bowels 
of mercy of our God, the Orient from on high hath 
visited us, to enlighten them that sit in darkness and in 
the shadow of death, and to direct our feet in the way of 
peace," Luke, i. 78. The holy Simeon, holding the Re- 
deemer, then a child, in his arms, said He was the sal- 
vation of God, " which Thou, O Lord," said he, " hast 
prepared before the face of all people, a light to the re- 

VOL. I. E 



velation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Is- 
rael," Luke, ii. 31, And the Redeemer Himself, when 
He appeared to St Paul, and authorised him to carry the 
light of His revelation to the Gentiles, said He sent him 
to the nations " to open their eyes, that they may be li 
converted from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, 
and a lot among the saints by the faith that is in me," 
Acts, XXV. 18. Hence the same holy apostle, describing 
the misery and blindness of the Gentiles, says : " They 
walk in the vanity of their mind, having their under- 
standings darkened, being alienated from the life of God, 
through the ignorance that is in them, because of the 
blindness of our hearts," Eph. iv. 18; but that God, 
by the Redeemer, " has made us worthy to be partakers 
of the lot of the saints in light, and delivered us from 
the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the 
kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemp- 
tion through His blood, the remission of sins," Col. i. 
12. St Peter declares to Christians — that is, to the fol- 
lowers of the Redeemer — " You are a chosen generation, 
a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people, 
that you may declare His virtues who hath called you 
out of darkness into His admirable light; who in time 
past were not a people, but are now the people of God," 
I Pet. ii. 9. 

Q. 27. What are the principal offices of the Redeemer? 

A. They are chiefly these two : (i.) To redeem us 
from our sins, and from the captivity of Satan, to which 
mankind has been reduced by sin. (2.) To enlighten 
our minds by revealing to us the great truths of eternity, 
which we could never have known without such a 
teacher, and upon the knowledge of which our eternal 
happiness depends. 


Q. 28. What is the Redeemer's name? 

A. Jesus Christ. The name Jesus signifies a Saviour, 
and was given Him by God Himself, as foretold by the 
prophet Isaiah many ages before His coming, when he 
said, "Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the 
mouth of the Lord shall name," Isa. Ixii. 2. And it was 
brought immediately from heaven before He was bom ; 
for when the angel discovered the mystery of His incar- 
nation to St Joseph, he said, " Thou shalt call His name 
Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins," 
Mat. i. 2 1 j and not only from their sins, but also from 
the fatal effects of sin, the slavery of Satan, and the tor- 
ments of hell. The name Christ signifies anointed, and 
imphes that the Redeemer is anointed wath all kind of 
grace, and with the Divinity Itself; for "in him it hath 
well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell," 
Col. ii. 9 ; and " in Him dwelleth all the fulness of 
the Godhead bodily," ii. 9. By this Divine unction He is 
consecrated to be "a priest for ever according to the order 
of Melchisedech," Ps. cix. 4 ; as also " to be king over 
Sion His holy mountain," Ps. ii. 6 ; and " to reign in the 
house of Jacob for ever ; " for " of His kingdom there 
shall be no end," Luke, i. 32. It also implies that He is 
anointed with all the graces of the Holy Ghost, according 
to Isaiah : " And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon 
Him, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the 
spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge 
and of godliness, and He shall be filled with the spirit of 
the fear of the Lord," Isa. xi. 2. Hence St Peter says 
that " God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and with 
power," Acts, x. 38. 




Q. 1. T S it necessary to know Jesus Christ the 
X Redeemer ? 

A. It is most necessary to know both what Jesus 
Christ is and what He has done for us ; for " there is 
no other name under heaven given to men whereby 
we must be saved," Acts, iv. 12. And Christ Himself, 
speaking to His eternal Father, says, " This is eternal 
life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, anH 
Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent," John, xvii. 3. 

Q. 2. Who is Jesus Christ? 

A. Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second Person of 
the ever-blessed Trinity, who, taking our nature upon 
Him, became man in order to redeem lost man. 

Q. 3. Where doth it appear that Jesus Christ is God 
the Son, the second Person of the blessed Trinity? 

A. From many plain texts of Scripture. Thus the 
angel declared to the blessed Virgin Mary, before He 
was conceived in her womb, " The holy One that shall 
be born of thee shall be called the Son of God," Luke, 
i. 35. St Peter, inspired by God Himself, said to Christ, 
" Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God," Mat. xvi. 
16. St John declares " that- the Word was God," and 
that this "Word," or Son of God, "was made flesh, and 


dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father," John, i. 14. St John 
the Baptist, by particular revelation from the Holy Ghost, 
says of Jesus Christ, "I saw, and I gave testimony that 
this is the Son of God," John, i. 34. God the Father, at 
the transfiguration, by a voice from heaven, declared, 
" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," 
Mat. xvii. 5. All the miracles He performed are re- 
corded in the Gospel in proof of this truth. " Many 
other signs Jesus did; but these are written that you 
may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," 
John, XX. 30. And St Paul declares that " Christ is over 
all things, God blessed for ever," Rom. ix. 5. 

Q. 4. Is Jesus Christ true man ? 

A. Jesus Christ is also true man ; for whereas He 
was always God, equal to His Father from all eternity, 
when the fulness of time was come He became man 
by taking our nature upon Him, and uniting it to His 
Divine nature in His own person ; so that He is also 
true man, having the nature of man — that is, having a 
soul and a body like unto us. Thus " the Word," or Son 
of God, " which in the beginning was with God, and was 
true God, was made flesh, and dwelt among us," John, i. 
"Jesus Christ being in the form of God, thought it no 
robbery to be equal with God, but debased Himself, 
taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness 
of men, and in fashion found as a man," Philip, ii. 6. God 
sent His own Son in the likeness of " sinful flesh," Rom. 
viii. 3. "For nowhere doth He take hold (that is, take upon 
Him the nature) of the angels, but of the seed of Abraham 
He taketh hold," Heb. ii. 16. " And hence we are sancti- 
fied by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once — for 
this Man offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on 
the right hand of God," Heb. x. 10, 12. "Forasmuch 


then as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, 
He (Jesus Christ) also Himself, in like manner, partook 
of the same, that through death He might destroy — the 
devil," Heb. ii. 14. And that He has a human soul as 
well as a body. He assures us Himself when He says, 
"My soul is sorrowful even unto death," Mat. xxvi. 38. 
Lastly, Jesus Christ Himself declares He is a true man, 
capable of being put to death, when he says, " You seek 
to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you," 
John, viii. 40. 

Q,. 5. Was Jesus Christ, in His human nature, subject 
to all the infirmities of man ? 

A. Yes ; Jesus Christ, as man, was pleased to subject 
Himself to all our infirmities and miseries, sin only 
excepted, of which He was incapable, that He might 
thereby manifest to us the more abundantly the infinite 
riches of His goodness and mercy towards us. Thus 
He subjected Himself to suffer hunger, and thirst, and 
weariness ; to be afflicted with grief and sorrow of mind ; 
to be tempted and tried ; to suffer pain and torment in 
His body, and to undergo death itself, and that in the 
most cruel and ignominious manner. " It behoved Him 
in all things to be made like to His brethren, that He 
might become a merciful and faithful high priest, with 
God, to make a reconciliation for the sins of the people. 
For in that wherein He himself hath suffered and been 
tempted, He is able to succour them also that are 
tempted," Heb. ii. 1 7. " For we have not a high priest, 
who cannot have compassion on our infirmities, but one 
tempted in all things like as we are, yet without sin," 
Heb. iv. 15. For "He did no sin, neither was guile 
found in His mouth," i Pet. ii. 22. On the contrary, 
" He was holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sin- 
ners," Heb. vii. 26. 


Q. 6. Why did Jesus Christ subject Himself to all 
the infirmities of human nature? 

A. That He might be able to suffer for our sins ; for 
whereas the Divine justice demanded a satisfaction for 
sin equal to the injury done to God by sin, which none 
but God could give ; and, on the other hand, God Him- 
self was incapable of suflering in His own nature, in 
order to give that satisfaction ; therefore He took our 
nature upon Him, with all its infirmities, that in His 
tiesh He might sufter and die for us : Christ " His own 
self bore our sins in His body upon the tree, that we 
being dead to sin, should live to justice ; — by Whose 
stripes you are healed," i Pet. ii. 24 : " Christ also died 
once for our sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might 
offer us to God, being put to death, indeed, in the flesh," 
I Pet. iii. 18. "Christ therefore suffered in the flesh," 
I Pet. iv. I ; and Isaiah long before His coming hath 
foretold, that " He was wounded for our iniquities. He 
was bruised for our sins, . . . and by His bruises we are 
healed," Isa. liii. 5. 

Q. 7. What was it that moved Almighty God to pro- 
vide such a Redeemer for lost men ? 

A. It was the effect of His pure love and mercy to- 
wards us. He was not obliged to do it ; He might have 
pursued us with all the rigour of His justice, if He had 
been pleased to do so, as He did the fallen angels ; but 
He had compassion upon our miseries, and, of His own 
free will, out of pure love to us, provided the Redeemer 
for us. Thus Isaiah, foretelling the sufferings of the 
Redeemer, says, " He was offered because it was His 
own will," Isa. liii. 7. And Jesus Christ says on this 
subject, "No man taketh away My life from Me, but I 
lay it down of Myself; and I have power to lay it down, 
and I have power to take it up again," John, x. 18. 


And therefore, though His enemies on different occa- 
sions sought to apprehend Him, " yet no man laid hands 
on Him, because His hour was not yet come," John, 
vii. 30. Now that it was pure love for us, and compas- 
sion for our miseries, Avhich moved God to send us such 
a Redeemer, is often declared in holy writ : " God so 
loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that 
whosoever believed in Him may not perish, but may 
have life everlasting. For God sent not His Son into 
the world to judge the world, but that the world may be 
saved by Him," John, iii. 16. " By this hath the charity 
of God appeared towards us ; because God hath sent 
His only begotten Son into the world that we may live 
by Him. In this is charity : not as though we had loved 
God ; but because He first loved us, and sent His Son to 
be a propitiation for our sins," i John, iv. 9. " God, who 
is rich in mercy, for His exceeding great charity where- 
with He loved us, even when we were dead by sins, hath 
quickened us together in Christ (by whose grace you 
are saved), . . . that He might show, in the ages to 
come, the abundant riches of His grace in His bounty 
towards us in Christ Jesus," Eph. ii. 4. " In this we 
have known the charity of God ; because He hath laid 
down His life for us," i John, iii. 16. "God com- 
mendeth His charity towards us ; because, when as yet 
we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for 
us," Rom. V. 8. " Christ also loved us, and hath de- 
livered Himself for us an oblation and a sacrifice to 
God," Eph. V. 2. And in this we see the greatness of 
His love for us ; for, as He Himself declares, " Greater 
love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life 
for his friends," John, xv. 13. 

Q. 8. In what manner did God the Son take the na- 
ture of man upon Him? 


A. He made choice of the blessed Virgin Mary to be 
His Mother, and, when the fulness of tinje was come, in 
her sacred womb, and of her most pure blood, a human 
body was formed, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, 
and a most perfect soul Avas created to animate this 
body ; and in the same instant of time the Divine na- 
ture was united to this soul and body, in the person of 
God the Son, by the power of. the Most High, which 
overshadowed this blessed Virgin for that jjurpose. 
Jesus Christ, God and man, being thus conceived in her 
sacred womb, remained there for the space of nine 
months, and then was born of her in the stable of Beth- 
lehem, she still remaining a pure virgin. 

Q. 9. What account does the Scripture give of this ? 

A. St Paul says, that " when the fulness of time was 
come, God sent His Son, made of a woman," Gal. iv. 4, 
to show that He took flesh of her, or that His body was 
formed of the substance of her body ; so also the Scrip- 
ture says that He was bom of Mar}^, — " Jacob begat Jo- 
seph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, 
who is called Christ," Mat. i. 16. And that she was a 
Virgin, both when she conceived and when she brought 
Him forth, was foretold long before by the prophet 
Isaiah, saying, "Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear 
a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel," Isa. vii. 
14 ; " which, being interpreted, is God with us," Mat. i. 
23. And in what manner this was done is thus told by 
St Luke : " And the angel Gabriel was sent from God, 
unto a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a Virgin 
espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house 
of David ; and the Virgin's name was Mar}-. And the 
angel being come in, saith to her, Hail, full of grace, our 
Lord is with thee ; blessed art thou among women. And 
when she had heard, she was troubled at his saying, and 


thought with herself what manner of salutation this should 
be. And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for thou 
hast found grace with God : behold, thou shalt conceive 
in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt 
call His name Jesus : He shall be great, and shall be 
called the Son of the Most High. . . . And Maiy said 
to the angel, How shall this be done, because I know not 
man ? And the angel answering, said to her. The Holy 
Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most 
High shall overshadow thee, and therefore, also, the Holy 
One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son 
of God. . . . And Mary said. Behold the handmaid of 
the Lord ; be it done unto me according to thy word." 
Luke, i. 38. 

Q. 10. Has Jesus Christ two natures? 

A. Yes ; Jesus Christ has two natures, the nature of 
God and the nature of man, united together in one per- 
son, which is the Person of God the Son ; for, as the 
Athanasian creed expresses it, " as the rational soul and 
flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ." 

Q. II. How does it appear from Scripture that there 
is but one person in Christ ? 

A. Because the same person who is there declared to 
be Christ, according to the flesh, is also declared to be 
God ; thus St Paul, speaking of the Israelites, says, " Of 
whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is over all 
things, God blessed for ever," Rom. ix. 4. He also says 
that the same person, " who being in the form of God 
thought it no robbery to be equal to God, was made in 
the likeness of man, and in fashion found as a man," 
Philip, ii. 6 ; and Jesus Christ Himself, who says on one 
occasion " I and the Father are one," John, x. 30, says 
at another time, " I go to the Father, for the Father is 
greater than I," John, xiv. 28 ; where the same person of 


Christ, the same /, declares that He is one and the same 
with the Father, speaking of Himself as God, and as to 
His Divine nature ; and that He is also inferior to His 
Father, speaking of Himself as man, and as to His human 
nature : so that in these expressions is declared both that 
there is but one person in Christ, and that in this one 
person the two natures are united. 

Q. 12. Does it appear from any other texts of Scrip- 
ture that there are two natures in Christ, the Divine and 
human natures ? 

A. Most evidently ; for, as Ave have seen above that 
Christ is both true God and true man, all the texts which 
show those two truths show that He has both the na- 
ture of God and the nature of man ; for, being true God, 
He must of necessity have the nature of God, and being 
true man. He must of necessity have the nature of man, 
since the being anything and the having the nature of 
that thing is one and the self-same. 

Q. 13. Will this union of the Divine and human na- 
tures in the person of Christ be ever dissolved ? 

A. It will never be dissolved ; for the Holy Scripture 
assures us that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is 
" a priest for ever," and that He is a " king for ever " ; 
that He will reign over His faithful, and over all His 
enemies, " for ever '' ; that all things are subjected to Him, 
and that "of His kingdom there shall be no end." 
Thus, " the Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent, 
Thou art a priest for ever," Ps. cix. 4 ; which St Paul 
declares was said by God the Father to Christ in these 
words: "So also Christ did not glorify Himself to be 
made a high priest, but He that said to Him, Thou art 
My Son, this day have I begotten Thee," as he says also 
in another place, " Thou art a priest for ever," Heb. v. 
5 ; and a little after adds that Christ is made priest, "not 


according to the law of a carnal commandment, but 
according to the power of an indissoluble life ; for He 
testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever," Heb. vii. 17. And 
Avith regard to His kingdom, Isaiah says: "A child is 
bom to us, and a son is given to us, and the govern- 
ment is upon His shoulders. . . . His empire shall 
be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace ; 
He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon His 
kingdom, to establish it, and strengthen it with judgment 
and with justice, from henceforth and for ever," Isa. ix, 
6, 7. And Ezekiel, speaking of Christ's kingdom, says : 
" Thus saith the Lord God — and My servant David shall 
be king over them, and they shall have one shepherd — 
and David My servant shall be their prince for ever," 
Ezek. xxxvii. 24, 25. Hence the angel Gabriel says to 
the blessed Virgin : " Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, 
and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name 
Jesus ; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of 
His father David, and He shall reign in the house of 
Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no 
end," Luke, i. 31. The Jews themselves were very 
sensible of this truth, and therefore said, " We have heard 
out the law that Christ abideth for ever," John, xii. 34. 
From all which St Paul declares, that "Jesus Christ, 
yesterday and to-day, He is the same for ever," Heb. 
xiii. 8. 

Q. 14. Is the blessed Virgin truly and properly the 
Mother of God ? 

A. Yes, she is truly and properly the Mother of God ; 
because she conceived in her womb, and brought forth, 
in due time, that Divine Person who is both true God 
and true man, as the angel declared to her, when he 
said, " Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring 
forth a son ; and the Holy One which shall be born of 


thee shall be called the Son of God," Luke, i. Now, to 
conceive and bring forth a son is surely to be his mother. 
It is true the divinity of Jesus Christ was from all 
eternity, and as God He was begotten of the Father 
before all ages, without any mother ; so that it cannot be 
said that the blessed Virgin begot the Divine nature of 
Jesus Christ. But this is nowise necessary to make her 
the Mother of God ; for our own mothers do not beget 
our souls, yet they are truly our mothers, both as to soul 
and body, because our souls, though created immediately 
by Almighty God, are united to our bodies in our 
mothers' womb, where we are conceived, and in due 
time brought forth by them. In like manner as the 
Divine nature was united to the human nature in the 
person of Jesus Christ within the womb of the blessed 
Virgin, and He who is true God was conceived and 
born of her, this makes her truly and properly the 
Mother of God. Hence St Elizabeth, inspired by the 
Holy Ghost, gave her this sacred title, when she said, 
" Whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord 
should come to me?" Luke, i. 43.* 

* See Appendix A. 




Q. I. T T THAT do you mean by the office of the 
VV Redeemer! 

A. I mean all that Jesus Christ did, said, and suffered 
for the redemption of mankind, in quality of our Re- 
deemer; which includes all the mysteries of His birth, 
life, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension. 

(2- 2. Where was our Saviour born? 

A. In the stable of Bethlehem, of which the Scripture 
gives this account : " In those days there went out a 
decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should 
be enrolled. And all went to be enrolled, every one into 
his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, 
out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of 
David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the 
house and family of David, to be enrolled, with Mary his 
espoused wife, who was with child. . . . And it came to 
pass, that, when they were there, the days were accom- 
plished that she should be delivered ; and she brought 
forth her first-born son, and wrapt Him in swaddling- 
clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was 
no room for them in the inn," Luke, ii. i. 

Q. 3. When was our Saviour born ? 


A. On the twenty-fifth day of December, the most 
inclement season of the year. 

Q. 4. What are we principally to observe in this 
account of the birth of Jesus ? 

A. First, The wonderful and overruling providence 
of God, which makes use of the very vices and pas- 
sions of men to accomplish His own designs. Augustus 
Csesar, the Roman Emperor, Avas moved by his pride and 
avarice to cause all his subjects to be numbered through- 
out his vast empire. In obedience to this decree, Joseph 
and Mary, who were living in Galilee, at a great distance 
from Bethlehem, the city of their family, came to that 
city to be numbered with their own fomily, just about 
the time of her being delivered ; all which was so dis- 
posed by the Divine Providence, in order to accomplish 
■what had been foretold by the prophets, that Christ 
should be born in that city : " And thou, Bethlehem 
Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Judah ; 
out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be the 
ruler in Israel," Mich. v. 2. 

Secondly, The infinite love of Jesus Christ to us, in 
beginning at so early a period, even at His very first 
entrance into the world, to sufter for us, and to give us, 
in His most tender infancy, the most perfect example of 
poverty, humility, and mortification ; those darling virtues 
of His, which He knew were so necessary for us to prac- 
tise, in order to cure all the spiritual maladies of our 

Q. 5. How did He practise these virtues at His birth? 

A. He practised humility, in being rejected by all the 
rich and great ones in Bethlehem, none of whom would 
admit His Virgin Mother to their houses, notwithstand- 
ing her condition of being great with child, which obliged 
her to take up her abode in a stable, where He chose to 


be born. He practised poverty, in so ordering matters 
by His Divine Providence, that He. should be born at a 
distance from the place where His Mother dwelt, and on 
that account be deprived of all those conveniences which 
the poorest people have on such occasions ; so He chose 
to be born in a stable instead of a palace, and laid in a 
manger instead of a soft bed. He practised mortifica- 
tion, in being exposed to much pain from the inclemency 
of the weather at that cold season, from the open stable 
in which He was born, and the hard manger in which 
He was laid. 

Q. 6. What became of Him after He was born ? 

A. In His infancy He was circumcised, in obedience 
to the law, Luke, ii. 21. He discovered Himself to the 
shepherds by an embassy of angels from heaven, to show 
that He came to be the Saviour of the Jews, Luke, ii. 9. 
He afterwards manifested Himself to the Gentiles by a 
star in the heavens, to show He was also come to be the 
Saviour of the Gentiles, Mat. ii. And He was persecuted 
by King Herod, who, hearing of His birth from the wise 
men, sought to destroy Him, Mat. ii. After this He 
lived in private with His Virgin IMother and St Joseph, 
her spouse and guardian, and " subjected Himself to 
them," Luke, ii. 51 ; and continued to live in a poor, 
private, and retired manner, till He was thirty years of 
age, faithfully observing all the law of Moses, to give us 
an example of humility, submission, and obedience ; and 
because He came, as He Himself tells us, " not to de- 
stroy the law, but to fulfil it," Mat. v. 17. 

Q. 7. At the thirtieth year of His life what did He do ? 

A. He then began His public life, preaching the 
Gospel, doing good to all, healing their diseases, casting 
out devils, and working the most stupendous miracles, 
to prove His Divine mission, and that He was the 


Messiah, or Saviour of the world, promised to mankind 
from the beginning : " God anointed Jesus of Nazareth 
with the Holy Ghost, and with power, who went about 
doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with the 
devil," Acts, x. 38. " He was a prophet mighty in work 
and word before God and all the people," Luke, xxiv. 19. 
" The Spirit of the Lord, saith He Himself, is upon Me, 
wherefore He hath anointed Me ; to preach the Gospel 
to the poor He hath sent Me, to heal the contrite of 
heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to 
the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to 
preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of 
reward," Luke, iv. 1 8. And when St John the Baptist 
sent two of His disciples to Him to ask if He was the 
Christ, He appealed to the miracles v/hich He then 
wrought in their presence : " And answering. He said to 
them. Go and relate to John what you have heard and 
seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made 
clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the 
Gospel is preached," Luke, vii. 22. Hence the testimony 
given of His public employment in the Gospel is this : 
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their 
synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, 
and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of 
diseases among the people. . . . And they brought to 
Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases 
and torments, and such as were possessed by devils, and 
lunatics, and those that had the palsy, and He healed 
them," Mat. iv. 23. "And there came to Him great 
multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the 
lame, the maimed, and many others ; and they cast them 
down at His feet, and He healed them," Mat. xv. 30. 
" And whithersoever He entered into towns, or into vil- 
lages, or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and be- 

VOL. I. F 


sought Him that they might touch but the hem of His 
garment; and as many as touched Him were made 
whole," Mark, vi. 56. 

Q. 8. Were the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ a 
full and sufficient proof of His Divine mission, and of 
His being the Redeemer? 

A. They certainly were a full and convincing proof 
of it, for several reasons, (i.) Because the very miracles 
He wrought had been foretold many ages before by the 
prophets, as the signs of the Redeemer. Thus Isaiah 
says, " Behold your God will bring the revenge of re- 
compense. God Himself will come and save you ; then 
shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the 
deaf shall be unstopped ; then shall the lame man leap 
as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free," Isa. 
XXXV. 5. All which are the very things which Jesus did 
as proofs of His being the Redeemer. (2.) Because the 
works which Jesus did were done in the name of God 
the Father, on purpose to prove that He was the Mes- 
siah. Thus when " the Jews came round about Him, 
and said to Him, How long dost Thou hold our souls in 
suspense ? if Thou be Christ, tell us plainly : Jesus an- 
swered them, I speak to you, and you believe not ; the 
works that I do in the name of My Father give testi- 
mony of Me," John, x. 24. Now it is impossible that 
Almighty God should allow any miracles to be wrought 
in His name in favour of falsehood. (3.) Because the 
works He did were such as none but God could per- 
form ; and therefore He appeals to them as the high- 
est proofs that He is the Son of God. " Do you say," 
says He, " of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and 
sent into the world. Thou blasphemest, because I said I 
am the Son of God? If I do not the works of My 
Father, believe Me not ; but if I do, though you will not 


believe Me, believe the works, that ye may know and 
believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father," 
John, X. 36. " The works," says He again, " which the 
Father hath given Me to perform, the works themselves 
which I do, give testimony of Me that the Father hath 
sent Me ; and the Father Himself who hath sent Me 
hath given testimony of Me," John, v. 36. Also, " The 
words that I speak to you I speak not of Myself. 'But 
the Father who abideth in Me, He doth the works. 
Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father 
in Me ? otherwise believe for the very works' sake," John, 
xiv. 10. Lastly, Because Christ declares that the Jews 
were inexcusable for not believing Him on so convincing 
a proof as His miracles were. " If I had not come and 
spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they 
have no excuse for their sin. He that ' hateth Me, 
hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them 
the works that no other man hath done, they would not 
have sin ; but now they have both seen, and hated both 
Me and My Father," John, xv. 22. 

Q. 9. How long did Jesus Christ continue in His 
public ministry ? 

A. For about three years ; and then He delivered 
Himself up to the will of His enemies, to be put to 
death for the sins of the world. 

Q. 10. How did this happen ? 

yi. .From the beginning of His public life the chief 
priests and princes of the Jews had conceived an implac- 
able hatred against Him ; the sanctity of His life, the 
purity of His doctrine, and the splendour of His miracles, 
which gained Him the hearts of all the people, imbittered 
theirs with the most malignant envy, and they continually 
sought an opportunity to destroy Him. 

Q. II. How could they destroy or hurt Him who 


was God as well as man, and had all creatures at His 
command ? 

A. So long as He pleased they could not touch a hair 
of His head ; for though " they sought to apprehend 
Him, yet no man laid hands upon Him, because His 
hour was not yet come," John, vii. 30. But when His 
own time was come. He said to His disciples in the 
garden, " It is enough, the hour is come ; behold the 
Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners," 
Mark, xiv. 41. And when He was taken in the garden, 
He said to His enemies, " This is your hour, and the 
power of darkness," Luke, xxii. 53 — that is, the hour in 
which He was pleased to deliver Himself up to their 
will ; for, as St Paul assures us, " Christ loved us, and 
delivered Himself up for us an oblation and a sacrifice 
to God, for an odour of sweetness," Eph. v. 2. St Peter 
also declares that " He delivered Himself to him that 
judged Him unjustly," i Pet. ii. 23. And Christ Himself 
declared to Pilate, " Tho»u shouldst not have any power 
against Me unless it were given thee from above," John, 
xix. II. 

Q. 12. When, therefore, His hour was come, what did 
He suffer for us ? 

A. To show the greatness of His love for us, and the 
plenteous redemption which He brought us, He was 
pleased to suffer during His passion every kind of tor- 
ment with which human nature could be afflicted. He 
suffered in His soul, in His body, in His goods, in His 
honour, in His reputation. He suff"ered in all His 
senses, and in all His members ; He suffered from all 
kinds of persons — from the highest to the lowest, all were 
combined against Him ; He suffered also from His own 
friends, being betrayed by one of His bosom friends, 
denied by another, and forsaken by the rest. Having 


gone through all these different torments with the most 
amazing patience, meekness, and charity, at last, to crown 
the whole, He was nailed to a disgraceful cross, and 
died a cruel and ignominious death, between two thieves, 
as is related at large in the four Gospels. 

Q. 13. What became of Him after His death? 

A. Death is the separation of the soul from the body ; 
and to assure us that Christ died a true and real death, 
all the four Gospels declare, that after hanging in tor- 
ments on the Cross for three long hours, " He bowed 
down his head, and gave up the ghost," John, xix. 30 — 
that is, gave up his soul and died. Now, after his death, 
" Joseph of Arimathea, who also himself was a disciple 
of Jesus, went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. 
And Pilate commanded that the body should be deliv- 
ered; and Joseph, taking the body, wrapt it in a clean 
linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which 
he had hewn out in a rock; and he rolled a great stone 
to the door of the monument, and went his way," Mat. 
xxvii. 57. In what manner this was done is thus related 
by St John: And Nicodemus "also came, he who at 
first came to Jesus by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh 
and aloes, about a hundred pound weight. They took, 
therefore, the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen cloths 
with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 
Now there was a garden in the place where He was cruci- 
fied, and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man 
had yet been laid : there therefore they laid Jesus, because 
the sepulchre was nigh at hand," John, xix. 39. 

Q. 14. And what became of His soul when it left His 

A. It descended into hell — which word, in the original 
Hebrew language, is sheol, and signifies a place below, or 
in the bowels of the earth. It is thus interpreted by 


St Paul, when he said that " Christ descended to the 
lower parts of the earth," Eph. iv. 9. And therefore 
hell is applicable to all the different places that are there. 

Q. 15. How many places does the Scripture point to 
us, as in the bowels of the earth, which go by the general 
name oi helll 

A. Chiefly these three : (i.) The place of the damned, 
which is also called in Scripture Gehenna, and the abyss, 
or bottomless pit, and hell-fire ; this is hell properly so 
called, as being the deepest of all, and at the greatest 
distance from heaven. St John, describing a vision he 
had of this place, says, that when " a star that fell from 
heaven opened the bottomless pit, the smoke of the pit 
arose, as the smoke of a great furnace," Rev. ix. 2. And 
again, " The beast . . . shall come out of the bottomless 
pit, and go into destruction ; and the inhabitants of the 
earth shall wonder," Rev. xvii. 8. (2.) The prison of 
Purgatory, where the souls of those " who have not made 
agreement with their adversary, whilst in the way with 
him, and therefore are cast into this prison," are de- 
tained till they are cleansed from all smaller stains and 
imperfections, and have fully satisfied for what they 
owe to their adversary, the Divine justice, by "paying 
the utmost farthing," Mat. v. 25. (3.) The prison of 
Limbo, where the souls of those saints were detained 
who died before Christ came into the world. To this 
last place it was that the soul of Christ descended at 
His death, to preach redemption to these blessed souls, 
to free them from their long captivity and carry them up 
with Him to heaven. 

Q. 1 6. Had none of the ancient saints gone to heaven 
at their death ? 

A. They had not ; and this is expressly declared by 
Jesus Christ Himself, who, in His conversation with 


Nicodemus, says, " No man hath ascended into heaven 
but He that descended from heaven, the Son of Man, 
who is in heaven," John, iii. 13. In which words He 
positively says, that at the time when He was speaking, 
no man had ever gone to heaven but He Himself alone, 
whom He calls " the Son of Man," and whose blessed 
soul, from its union with the Divine nature, was always 
in heaven — that is, was always enjoying the clear Vision 
of God. This is also declared by St Peter, in his 
first sermon to the Jews, after receiving the Holy 
Ghost; where, proving the ascension of Jesus Christ 
to the right hand of God, from this prophecy of David, 
"The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My right 
hand," he shows that this prophecy could not be under- 
stood of David himself; " for," says he, " David did 
not ascend to heaven," Acts, ii. 34. Now, if David did 
not ascend to heaven, neither did any other who died 
before our Saviour. And St Paul, speaking of all the 
saints before Christ, expressly affirms, that "all these 
being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the 
promise, God providing some better thing for us, that they 
should not be perfected without us," Heb. xi. 39, 40. 

Q- 17. Are we not told in Scripture that Elijah was 
taken up to heaven when he left this world ? 

A. As all the places beneath us in the bowels of the 
earth go by the general name of Hell, so, in Scripture 
language, all the places above us go by the general name 
oi Heaven. Hence St Paul tells us that he was "taken 
up to the third heaven," 2 Cor. xii. 2 — which shows that 
there are different places above that go by that name. 
Now the most noble of all these is that glorious heaven 
where God shows Himself in all His majesty and beauty 
to the blessed ; for the Scripture tells us that Christ, at 
His ascension, " is set on the right hand of the throne of 


Majesty in the heavens," Heb. viii. i ; " at the right hand 
of God," Rom. viii. 34. Of which throne He Himself 
says, " To him that shall overcome I will give to sit with 
Me in My throne, as I also have overcome, and am set 
down with My Father in His throne," Rev. iii. 21. 
Before which throne St John " saAv a great multitude, 
which no man could number, standing in the sight of 
the Lamb ; " and adds, that " they are before the throne 
of God, and serve Him night and day in His temple, and 
that they shall no more hunger nor thirst, neither shall 
the sun fall on them, nor any heat ; for the Lamb, which 
is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and lead 
them to the living fountains of water, and God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes," Rev. vii. 15. Now that 
this heaven of heavens is above all other places that go 
by the name of heaven, St Paul assures us when he says 
tha.t the place to which Christ ascended was "above all 
the heavens," Eph. iv. 10. When, therefore, our Saviour 
declares that " no man hath ascended into heaven " 
before Him, He means the highest heaven, where God 
is seen and enjoyed by the blessed ; where He Himself, 
as man, always was, in this sense, that He always enjoyed 
the Beatific Vision, by reason of His union with the 
Divine nature ; but Elijah, and also Enos, were only 
taken up to some of the lower heavens, where they shall 
remain till the last days, when they shall come again and 
be put to death by antichrist, but where they do not enjoy 
the Vision of God. 

Q. 18. Why had no man gone to that heaven where 
God is seen and enjoyed, before Christ? 

A. Because the gates of heaven were shut to man by 
Adam's sin, and could not be opened to us till the price 
of our redemption should be paid, which was the Blood 
of Jesus shed upon the Cross. 


Q. 19. Were these blessed gates opened again to man 
when that price was paid ? 

A. Yes, they were ; and hence, in the hymn called Te 
Deiim, acknowledged and used by the Church of Eng- 
land, it is said to Christ, " when Thou hadst overcome 
the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of 
heaven to all believers." 

Q. 20. How is that place called in which the souls of 
the saints were detained who had died before our Sa- 
viour had paid the price of our redemption ? 

A. In the Creed and in the Scripture it is called by the 
general name of lie//. Thus, when Jacob believed that 
his son Joseph was dead, and that a wild beast had de- 
voured him, he said in his grief, " I will go down to my 
son into hell mourning," Gen. xxxvii. 35 ; where it is evi- 
dent that, by the word he//, he could not mean the grave, 
since he believed that his son was devoured by a wild 
beast, and therefore that even his body was not in the 
grave, much less his soul ; and he says he " would go 
down to him," to be with him, to be where he was, to 
enjoy his company. The same language was used by 
Joseph's brethren when he sought to detain Benjamin, 
that, if they should return without him to their father, 
" thy servants," said they, " shall bring down his grey 
hairs with sorrow into hell," Gen. xliv. 31. It is also in 
Scripture called "the lower part of the earth"; so St 
Paul, speaking of Christ's going down to this place, says, 
" He descended to the lower parts of the earth," Eph. 
iv. 9. Hence, when the soul of Samuel appeared to the 
witch of Endor, and she was astonished, and cried out, 
Saul asked her, " What hast thou seen ? The woman 
answered, I saw a god ascending out of the earth. And 
he said, What form is he of? and she said, An old man 
cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Sam- 


uel said to Saul, Why hast thou disturbed my rest, that I 
should be brought up?" i Kings (or Sam.), xxiii. 12, 
xxviii. 15. Which expressions show that the place of rest 
where the soul of Samuel had been was in the bowels of the 
earth. The wise man also, giving the praises of Samuel, 
concludes thus : "And after this he slept, and he made 
known to the king, and showed him the end of his life, and 
he lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy," Ecclus. 
xlvi. 23. It is likewise called in Scripture Abraham's 
bosom, because it was a place of rest and peace ; for the 
blessed souls there had no sufferings, but rather were 
comforted after all their sufferings in their mortal life. 
Thus the rich glutton in hell, " lifting up his eyes when 
he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and La- 
zarus in his bosom. . . . And Abraham said to him, Son, 
remember that thou didst receive good things in thy life- 
time, and likewise Lazarus evil things ; but now he is 
comforted, and thou art tormented," Luke, xvi. 22. Fi- 
nally, in the language of the Church, this place is called 
Limbus, to distinguish it from the hell of the damned 
and from Purgatory. 

Q. 21. How does it appear that Christ went down to 
this place ? 

A. The Creed afifimis that at His death " He de- 
scended into hell." Christ Himself expressly foretold it 
when He said, " As Jonas was in the whale's belly three 
days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the 
heart of the earth three days and three nights," Mat. xii. 
40. St Paul also declares it thus, " Now that He as- 
cended, what is it but because He also descended first 
into the lower parts of the earth?" Eph. iv. 9. And St 
Peter assures us that, " in His spirit. He went and 
preached to those spirits who were in prison," i Pet. 
iii. 19. 


Q. 22. For what purpose did Christ descend to this 
place ? 

A. First, That He might preach the Gospel to these 
holy souls, and bring them the happy tidings that the 
price of their redemption was paid, and the time of their 
deliverance was come, which they had for so long a time 
desired with so much ardour. Thus St Peter having told 
us that " He went and preached to those spirits that 
were in prison " (i Pet. iii. 19), a little after adds—" The 
Gospel was preached also to the dead, that they might be 
judged, indeed, according to men in the flesh, but may 
live according to God in the spirit," i Pet. iv. 6. And 
this the Divine wisdom, God the Son, foretold long be- 
fore, by the mouth of the wise man, saying, " I wisdom 
. . . will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and 
wall behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope 
in the Lord," Ecclus. xxiv. 45. Secondly, That He might 
deliver those blessed souls from their long imprisonment 
in w'hich they had been detained, as was foretold by the 
prophet, saying, " Thou also, by the blood of Thy testa- 
ment hast sent forth Thy prisoners out of the pit wherein 
is no water," Zach. ix. 11. Thirdly, To carry them up 
with Him to heaven at His ascension, as the first-fruits 
of His redemption, and the triumphs of His victory over 
sin and death, as was foretold by David, saying, " Thou 
hast ascended on high. Thou hast led captivity captive," 
Ps. Ixvii. 1 9 \ which prophecy is also cited by St Paul, 
Eph. iv. 8, who also says that, after His death, " hav- 
ing spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of 
them confidently, triumphing openly over them in Him- 
self,'" Col. ii. 15. 

Q. 23. Did his presence occasion great joy to those 
holy souls ? 

A. Most undoubtedly. These holy souls had nothing 



more at heart than to be dehvered out of their long con- 
finement, and admitted to the clear sight and enjoyment 
of God. This was the great object of all their desires ; 
and the delay of this was the only thing that could give 
them any pain, according to that saying of the wise man, 
" Hope that is deferred afiflicteth the soul," Prov. xiii. 12. 
But as it is there immediately added, " Desire when it 
cometh is a tree of life," so the sight of the Redeemer 
coming in among them — the beholding the beauty of His 
Divine presence, and receiving from Him the happy tid- 
ings that their redemption was paid, and the day of their 
release was come — was indeed " a tree of life to them,'' 
filled them with the most exquisite joy and gladness, and 
turned their dreary prison into a paradise of delight, 
according to what our Saviour said to the good thief 
upon the cross, " This day thou shalt be with Me in 
paradise ; "' because he was, at his death, to follow Jesus 
Christ to this place, and there enjoy His Divine presence, 
and all the fruits of His redemption. 

Q. 24. How long did Christ continue dead ? 

A. Part of three days — to wit, from Friday about mid- 
afternoon till Sunday morning. 

Q. 25. On the third day after His death, what did He 

A. He rose again from the dead — that is. His blessed 
soul, by His own Divine power, returned into His body, 
was reunited to it, and raised it to life again. " T lay 
down My life," said He, " that I may take it up again. 
No man taketh it away from Me, but I lay it down of 
Myself; and I have power to lay it down, and I have 
power to take it up again," John, x. 17. And when the 
Jews asked a sign from Him of His authority for cleans- 
ing the temple of those who profaned it, "Jesus answered 
and said to them. Destroy this temple, and in three 


days I will raise it up. . . . But He spoke of the temple 
of His body ; when, therefore, He was risen again from 
the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this," 
John, ii. 19. The history of what happened at this great 
event is thus given by St Matthew : " And, behold, there 
was a great earthquake ; for an angel of the Lord de- 
scended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, 
and sat upon it : and his countenance was as lightning, 
and his raiment as snow ; and for fear of him the guards 
were struck with terror and became as dead men. . . . And 
the angel answering said to the women, Fear not you, 
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified : He 
is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come and see 
the place where the Lord was laid," INIat. xxviii. 2. 

Q_. 26. Is the resurrection of Jesus an important 
article of the Christian faith ? 

A. It is one of the most important and fundamental 
articles of the Christian religion, and the groundwork 
and proof of all the rest. Hear how St Paul speaks of it 
on occasion of some that denied the resurrection of the 
dead, in order to confirm and show the importance of 
this article of our faith : " I delivered to you first of all 
what I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, 
according to the Scri])tures ; and that He was buried and 
rose again according to the Scriptures ; and that He was 
seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven ; then was 
He seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, of 
whom many remain until this present, and some are fal- 
len asleep. . . . Last of all, He was seen also by me. 
. . . Now, if Christ be preached that He rose again from 
the dead, how do some among you say that there is no 
resurrection of the dead ? For if there be no resurrection 
of the dead, then Christ is not risen again ; and if Christ 
be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your 


faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses 
of God, because we have given testimony against God, 
that He hath raised up Christ, whom He hath not raised 
up, if the dead rise not again. For if the dead rise not 
again, neither is Christ risen again ; and if Christ be not 
risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins. 
. . . But now Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits 
of them that sleep," i Cor. xv. 3. 

Q. 27. How comes the resurrection of Christ to be of 
so great importance to the Christian Faith? 

A. Because it is the most convincing proof that Jesus 
Christ is the Son of God, and that His doctrine is 
Divine and true. For (i.) During His public ministry. 
He often foretold that He would be put to death, but 
that He would rise again the third day : " I lay down 
My life," said He, " that I may take it up again," John, 
X. 17. "From that time forth Jesus began to show to 
His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and sufter 
many things from the ancients, and the scribes, and chief 
priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again," 
Mat. xvi. 21. "And Jesus said to them. The Son of 
Man shall be betrayed into the hands of men, and they 
shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again," 
Mat. xvii. 21. Now this prediction was spread among 
the people before His death, insomuch that after He was 
laid in the grave, '' the chief priests and the Pharisees 
came together to Pilate, saying, Sir, we have remembered 
that that seducer said, while He was yet alive. After three 
days I will rise again. Command, therefore, the sepulchre 
to be guarded till the third day, lest His disciples come 
and steal Him away, and say to the people He is risen 
from the dead ; so the last error shall be worse than the 
first. Pilate said to them, Go guard it as you know : so 
they departing made the sepulchre sure, sealing the 


Stone, and setting guards," Mat. xxvii. 62. Seeing, 
then, that He did rise again, as He had foretold, this 
evidently shows that He is the very person whom He 
called Himself, — the Messiah, the Son of God, made man 
for the redemption of the world ; for who but God could 
raise Himself to life ? who but God could foretell before- 
hand that He was to do so? (2.) When the Pharisees 
pressed Him to give them a sign of His being the 
Messiah, and of the authority by which He acted. He 
referred them to His resurrection as the most convincing 
sign of any : " An evil and adulterous generation," said 
He, "seeketh for a sign, and a sign shall not be given it 
but the sign of Jonas the prophet ; for as Jonas was in 
the whale's belly three days and three nights, so shall the 
Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and 
three nights," Mat. xii. 39. " Destroy this temple of 
My body, and in three days I will raise it up again," John, 
ii. 19. (3.) Because the apostles were most assiduous 
and earnest in establishing this point as the most essen- 
tial article of Christianity, and alone sufficient to con- 
vince the world of the truth of it. This Avas the great 
scope of their preaching, and the miracles they wrought 
were chiefly intended to confirm and establish this 
article. Thus, when St Peter cured the lame man, he 
said to the people, " But the Author of life you killed, 
whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are 
witnesses, and His name, through the faith of His name, 
hath made this man strong," Acts, iii. 15. Again, "With 
great power did the apostles give testimony of the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord," Acts, iv. ;^;^. And 
in the first sermon which St Peter preached to the Jews 
on Pentecost, after the coming of the Holy Ghost, at 
which no less than three thousand were converted, he 
insists in a particular manner on this article, and proves 



it from the prophecy of David, which he cites at large, 
and especially from these words, — " Thou wilt not leave 
My soul in hell, nor suffer Thy Holy One to see corrup- 
tion ; " on which he speaks thus, — " Him God hath raised 
up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impos- 
sible that He should be holden by it." Then, reciting 
the prophecy, he goes on : " Whereas, therefore, he 
{David) was a prophet — foreseeing he spoke of the resur- 
rection of Christ, for neither was He left in hell, neither 
did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God 
raised up again, whereof all we are witnesses," Acts, ii. 32. 

Q. 28. How long did Christ continue upon earth after 
His resurrection ? 

A. For the space of forty days, and then He ascended 
up in a glorious manner into heaven, in the sight of His 
apostles and other disciples, of which the Scripture gives 
this account : " He showed Himself alive (to them) after 
His passion, by many proofs, for forty days, appearing 
to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God, and 
eating with them," Acts, i. 3. And on the fortieth day, 
after having instructed them in all the mysteries of His 
kingdom, " opening their understandings that they might 
understand the Scriptures," Luke, xxiv. 45, he gave thein 
commission " to preach the Gospel to all nations, baptis- 
ing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost," Mat. xxviii. 19; and power to work 
all miracles in confimiation of their doctrine, Mark, xvi. 
17. He then "led them out as far as Bethania, and, 
lifting up His hands, He blessed them ; and it came to 
pass, whilst He blessed them, that He departed from 
them, and was carried up into heaven," Luke, xxiv. 50; 
and a cloud received Him out of their sight. "And 
while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, 
behold two men stood by them in white garments, 


who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking 
up to heaven ? this Jesus, who is taken up from you into 
heaven, shall so come as ye have seen Him going up to 
heaven," Acts, i. 9. 

Q. 29. Why did Christ ascend to heaven ? 

A. First, To take possession, even as man, of that 
eternal glory which His Father had prepared for Him in 
heaven, as the reward of all He had done and suffered 
for His Father's glory, and in obedience to His will, 
according to wliat He said Himself to the tsvo disciples 
going to Emaus, " Ought not Christ to have suffered 
these things, and so to enter into His glory?" Luke, xxiv. 
26. How great this glory was He also shows by the 
prayer He made to His Father, when He said, " I have 
glorified Thee on earth, I have finished the work which 
Thou gavest Me to do, and now glorify Me, O Father, 
with Thyself, with the glory which I had, before the 
world was, with Thee," John, xvii. 4. To receive this 
Divine, this infinite glory, Jesus Christ " ascended above 
all the heavens," Eph. iv. 10; His Father " setting Him 
at His own right hand in the heavenly places, above all 
principality and power, and virtue and dominion, and 
every name that is named not only in this world, but 
also in that which is to come, and He hath put all things 
under His feet," Eph. i. 20, and has bestowed the high- 
est dignities upon Him, suitable to that immense glory 
which He enjoys, and conformable to all He did and 
suffered in obedience to His Father's will. Sccojid, To 
prepare a place in His kingdom for all His faithful fol- 
lowers, and draw up our hearts to heaven after Him. 
Thus comforting His apostles, who were in great affliction 
at the news of His going to leave them, He said, " Let 
not your hearts be troubled — in My Father's house there 
are many mansions ; if not, I would ha^■e told you, that 

VOL. I. G 


I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go and 
prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you 
to Myself, that where I am you also may be," John, xiv. 
I. And in His prayer for His followers, He says to 
His Father, " Father, I will that where I am, they also 
whom Thou hast given Me may be with Me, that they 
may see My glory which Thou hast given Me," John, 
xvii. 24. 

Q. 30. What are these dignities which Jesus Christ, 
as man, is honoured with in heaven by His Father? 

A. Chiefly these following : (i.) His very name itself; 
for as " He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto 
death, even the death of the cross, therefore God hath 
exalted Him, and hath given to Him a name which is 
above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee 
should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and 
under the earth, and that every tongue should confess 
that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the 
Father," Philip, ii. 8. (2.) The royal dignity of being 
King over all creatures, with the most absolute power 
and dominion over them. This He foretold by the royal 
prophet, saying, " I am appointed King by Him over 
Zion His holy mountain. . . . The Lord said to Me — 
ask of Me and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy 
inheritance, and the utmost parts of the world for Thy 
possession, and Thou shalt rule them with a rod of 
iron," Ps. ii. 6. " He shall have dominion from sea to 
sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth," Ps. 
Ixxi. 8. And in the Gospel He says to His apostles, 
" All things are delivered to Me by My Father," Mat. 
xi. 27 ; " All power is given unto Me in heaven and in 
earth," Mat. xxviii. 18. And to His Father He says, 
" Father — glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may glorify 
Thee, as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh," 


John, xvii. i. Hence St Peter concludes his first sermon 
to the Jews thus : " Therefore let all the house of Israel 
know most assuredly, that God hath made this same 
Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ," 
Acts, ii. 36 ; and in his epistles he says, that "He is on 
the right hand of God swallowing down death, that we 
might be made heirs of life everlasting ; being gone into 
heaven, the angels, and powers, and virtues, being made 
subject to Him," i Pet. iii. 22. St Paul also assures us, 
that " to this end Christ died and rose again, that He 
might be Lord both of the dead and of the living," 
Rom. xiv. 9. And how great and tremendous His 
majesty is, appears from this description given of Him 
by St John : " And I saw heaven opened, and beheld 
a white horse, and He that sat upon Him was called 
Faithful and True, and with justice does He judge and 
fight : and His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His 
head were many crowns, and He hath a name written 
which no man knoweth but Himself; and He was 
clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood, and His 
name is called The Word of God ; and out of His mouth 
proceeded a sharp two-edged sword, that with it He may 
strike the Gentiles ; and He shall rule them A\'ith a rod 
of iron; and He treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness 
of God the Almighty ; and He hath on His garment and 
thigh written, King of kings, and Lord of lords" Rev. xix. 

Q. 31. What are the other dignities of Jesus Christ? 

A. They are, (3.) That He is the Head of the Church, 
which is His body, and of which we all are members : 
" He hath put all things under His feet," and " hath 
made Him Head over all the Church, which is His body," 
Eph. i. 22, "that . . . we may in all things grow up in 
Him, who is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole 
body, compacted and fitly joined together, by what every 


joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure 
of every part, maketh increase of the body," Eph. iv. 15. 
" We being many, are one body in Christ, and members 
one of another," Rom. xii. 5. " Now you are the body 
of Christ, and members of member," i Cor. xii. 27. 
" Christ is the Head of the Church; He is the Saviour of 
the body; . . . Christ cherisheth the Church, for we are 
members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones," 
Eph. V. 23, 30 ; " for He is the head of the body, the 
Church, Who is the beginning, the first-born from the 
dead, that in all things He may hold the primacy," Col. 
i. 18. (4.) He is the sovereign Judge of all mankind; 
" neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath com- 
mitted all judgment to the Son, that all men may honour 
the Son as they honour the Father ; ... and He hath 
given Him authority to execute judgment, because He 
is the Son of Man," John, v. 22, 27. Hence St Peter 
declares, that he and the other apostles received an ex- 
press command from God, " to preach to the people, 
and to testify that He {Christ) it is who is appointed by 
God to be the judge of the living and of the dead," Acts, 
X. 42. 

Q. 32. In what manner does Christ perform the office 
of Head of His Church ? 

A. In several ways, but particularly the following : 
(i.) By the continual protection of His Divine Provi- 
dence ; of which the royal prophet says, " Behold, He 
shall neither slumber nor sleep that keepeth Israel. The 
Lord is thy keeper ; the Lord is thy protection upon thy 
right hand. The sun shall not burn thee by day, nor the 
moon by night; the Lord keepeth thee from all evil," 
Ps. cxx. 4. And Zacharias, speaking of the glories of 
the Church, and the providence of God over her, says : 
" I will raise up thy sons, O Sion, above thy sons, O 


Greece, and I will make thee as the sword of the mighty; 
and the Lord God shall be seen over them, . . . and the 
Lord of hosts will protect them ; . . . the Lord their God 
shall save them in that day," Zach. ix. " In that day 
shall the Lord protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and 
he that hath offended among them shall be as David {to 
wit, shall retia'U to God by sincere repentance as David did), 
and the house of David as that of God, as an angel of 
the Lord in their sight. And it shall come to pass in 
that day, that I wll seek to destroy all the nations that 
come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out upon the 
house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
the spirit of grace and of prayers," Zach. xii. 8. Now 
this continual protection is exercised by ordering and 
disposing all things for the good of His Church, and the 
sanctification of her members, establishing her in justice 
and judgment, defending her from all her enemies, pre- 
serving her in peace, and increasing her dominion to the 
utmost bounds of the earth ; all which was foretold by 
the prophets many ages before Christ came into the 
world. Thus, " of the increase of His government and 
peace there shall be no end ; He shall sit upon the throne 
of David, and upon His kingdom, to establish it with 
justice and with judgment, from henceforth, even for 
.ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this," 
Isa. ix. 6. " Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed ; 
neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to 
shame. . . . For thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord 
of hosts is His name : and thy Redeemer, the Holy One 
of Israel, the Lord of the whole earth shall He be called. 
. . . And thou shalt be founded in justice : depart far 
from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, 
for it shall not come near thee. . . . No weapon that 
is foniied against thee shall prosper, and every tongue 


that resisteth thee thou shalt condemn," Isa. hv. " I 
will make thee to be an everlasting excellence, a joy unto 
generation and generation ; and thou shalt suck the milk 
of the Gentiles, and thou shalt be nursed with the breasts 
of kings ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord thy 
Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob," 
Isa. Ix. 15. " This shall be the covenant that I will make 
with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord : 
I will give My law in their bowels, and I will write it in 
their heart ; and I will be their God, and they shall be 
My people," Jer. xxxi. ^^. These and many other such 
glorious promises made to the Church, Jesus Christ fulfils 
as Head of the Church, by His Divine Providence, watch- 
ing over her at all times, " loving her and cherishing her," 
as St Paul expresses it, Eph. v. 25, 29. (2.) By the 
continual communication of His Divine grace to all her 
members, according to their wants and necessities ; for, 
" to every one of us is given grace according to the 
measure of the giving of Christ," Eph. iv. 7 ; and " of 
His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace," 
John, i. 16. He being always ready on His part to com- 
municate His grace to their souls, to beautify, nourish, 
and enliven them, and to enable them to bring forth good 
fruit in abundance ; just as the trunk of the tree always 
sends forth nourishing juice to all its branches, in order 
to beautify them with leaves and flowers, and enable them 
to produce good fruit in its season : and this is the simili- 
tude which Christ Himself makes use of to explain this 
matter to us, when He says, " Abide in Me and I in you : 
as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide 
in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I 
am the vine, you the branches ; he that abideth in Me 
and I in him, the same beareth much fruit," John, xv. 4. 
(3.) By the special protection which He has over her 


pastors, who are her principal members, and to whom the 
care of all the others is committed. Over these He 
watches with a most particular providence, to assist them 
in the important office of preserving and propagating the 
great truths of His holy Faith, and convepng them pure 
and undefiled to the latest posterity; for this purpose He 
has passed His sacred promise, that He Himself " will 
be Avith them all days, even to the consummation of the 
world," Mat. xxviii. 20. And, soon after His ascension 
into heaven, He sent doAvn His Holy Spirit upon them, 
" the Spirit of truth," on purpose " that He might abide 
^\ith them for ever, and teach them all truth," John, xiv. 
16, 17, and xvi. 13. 

Q. T,T,. In what manner did the Holy Ghost first come 
down upon the apostles and Christians ? 

A. Ten days after our Saviour went to heaven, during 
which time the apostles and other disciples "continued 
Avith one accord in prayer, with Mary the mother of 
Jesus and His brethren " (Acts, i. 14), " when the days 
of Pentecost were accomplished, . . . suddenly there 
came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, 
and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 
And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of 
fire, and sat upon every one of them. And they were 
all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak 
with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave 
them to speak," Acts, ii. i. 

Q. 34. What were the principal ends for which our 
Saviour sent the Holy Ghost to His Church ? 

A. The Scripture points out these following: (r.) To 
comfort her members in all their distresses and afflictions. 
" I will ask the Father," says He, " and He will give 
you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, whom the 
world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, nor 


knoweth Him ; but you shall know Him, because He 
shall abide with you, and be in you," John, xiv. i6. (2.) 
To purify and cleanse them from their sins, and strengthen 
their souls against- all temptations : " but you are washed, 
but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God," 
I Cor. vi. 1 1 ; " for the law of the spirit of life in Christ 
Jesus hath freed me from the law of sin and of death, . . . 
that the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us 
who walk not according to the flesh, but according to 
the Spirit ; . . . likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmity," 
Rom. viii. 2, 4, 26. (3.) To teach and enable them to 
pray, by which they may obtain all good things from 
God : " for we know not what we should pray for as we 
ought, but the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeak- 
able groanings ; and He that searcheth the hearts know- 
eth what the Spirit desireth, because He asketh for the 
saints according to God," Rom. viii. 26. (4.) To adorn 
their souls with Divine charity, or the love of God, and 
with all manner of virtues, " because the charity of God 
is poured abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who 
is given to us," Rom. v. 5 ; and " the fruit of the Spirit 
is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, lon- 
ganimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continence, chastity," 
Gal. V. 22. (5.) To enlighten their understandings with 
the knowledge of heavenly things ; for " the things that 
are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God ; now 
we have received not the spirit of this world, but the 
Spirit that is of God, that we may know the things that 
are given us from God," i Cor. ii. 11. And " the Com- 
forter," says our Saviour, " the Holy Ghost, whom the 
Father will send in INIy name. He will teach you all 
things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I 
shall have said to you," John, xiv. 26. Hence He is 


called by Isaias, " the Spirit of wisdom and of under- 
standing, the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the Spirit 
of knowledge and of godliness, and the Spirit of the fear 
of the Lord," Isa. xi. 2 ; which are the Sevenfold precious 
graces that Divine Spirit bestows upon those in whom 
He dwells, in such measure and proportion as He sees 
fitting, and as the disposition of their souls is capable of 
receiving. (6.) To raise them up to the glorious dignity 
of being the adopted children of God, " for whosoever 
are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God ; 
for you have not received the spirit of bondage again in 
fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of 
sons, whereby we cry, Abba (Father) ; for the Spirit 
Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the 
sons of God," Rom. viii. 14. So that " if any man have 
not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of His," Ibid. 9. 
(7.) To make them the temples of God and of His Holy 
Spirit : " Know ye not that you are the temple of God, 
and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? But if any 
man violate the temple of God, him God will destroy ; 
for the temple of God is holy, which you are," i Cor. 
iii. 16. "Know you not that your members are the 
temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you 
have from God, and that you are not your own ?" i Cor. 
vi. 19. (8.) To bear witness to, and give testimony of, 
Jesus Christ ; for, says our Saviour, " when the Comforter 
Cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the 
Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He 
shall give testimony of Me, and you shall give testimony, 
because you are with Me from the beginning," John, xv. 
26. Now the apostles gave testimony of Jesus Christ, 
because they declared to the world as eyewitnesses what 
they knew concerning Him, and the truths they had 
heard from Him. And the Holy Ghost gave testimony 


of Jesus Christ, by confirming what the apostles preached, 
with numberless miracles which He wrought through them- 
for " by the hands of the apostles were many signs and 
wonders wrought among the people, . . . insomuch that 
they brought the s'ck into the streets, and laid them on 
beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow, at 
least, might overshadow them, and they might be deliver- 
ed from their infirmities," Acts, v. 12, 15. Hence St 
Paul declares that " he was the minister of Christ Jesus 
among the Gentiles, ... by the virtue of signs and 
wonders in the power of the Holy Ghost," Rom. xv. 16, 
19 ; that " his speech and his preaching was not in the 
persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the showing 
of the Spirit and in power, that our faith might not stand 
on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God," i Cor. 
ii. 4 ; that though he himself was nothing, yet, " the 
signs of his apostleship were wrought in all patience, in 
signs and wonders and mighty deeds," 2 Cor. xii. 12; 
" and that his gospel was not in word only, but in power 
also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness," i 
Thess. i. 5 ; for this is the way that the Holy Ghost gave 
testimony to, or confirmed the doctrine of, Christ, 
preached by the pastors of His Church according to that 
text, " The Lord gave testimony to the word of His 
grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their 
hands," Acts, xiv. 3 ] and " they going forth preached 
everywhere, the Lord working withal, and confirming the 
word with signs that followed," Mark, xvi. 20; for "the 
testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy," Rev. xix. 
10 ; which is one of the greatest of miracles. Now the 
Holy Ghost bestows these miraculous powers on whom 
and in what manner He pleases ; to some He gives one 
kind, to others another, as St Paul observes at large, i 
Cor. xii. : but " the manifestation of the Spirit is given to 



every one unto profit," verse 7 ; and " all these things 
the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according 
as He will," verse 11. Lastly, One of the principal ends 
for which Christ sent down His Holy Spirit upon His 
Church was to confirm her and establish her for ever, 
" building her upon the rock " of His Divine protection, 
so that " the gates of hell shall not prevail against her," 
Mat. xvi. 18 ; "to abide with her for ever, and teach her 
all truth," I Tim. iii. 15 ; and to enable her to preserve 
the purity of the doctrine of Jesus Christ unstained, un- 
altered, uncorrupted, to the end of ages ; so that the 
words once put into her mouth should never depart from 
her to the end of time, according to that glorious pro- 
mise made by the Almighty God many ages before, and 
recorded by the prophet Isaias, of the continual assist- 
ance of His Holy Spirit, and preservation of the doctrine 
of the Redeemer for ever : " And there shall a Redeemer 
come to Sion, and to them that return from iniquity in 
Jacob, saith the Lord : This is My covenant with them, 
saith the Lord. My Spirit that is in thee, and My words 
which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of 
thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of 
the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from hence- 
forth and for ever," Isa. lix. 20. 

Q. 35. Did the Holy Ghost produce all these glorious 
eifects in the apostles and first Christians, when He 
came upon them ? 

A. He did, in a most eminent degree ; for, (i.) imme- 
diately upon His descent, the apostles became altogether 
new men : from poor ignorant fishermen that they were 
before, they were enlightened by that Divine Spirit with 
the most sublime knowledge of all Divine truths, and 
became the masters and teachers of the whole world. 
Their hearts were inflamed with an ardent love of God, 


and zeal for the salvation of souls ; and all manner of 
Christian virtues, humility, meekness, patience, brotherly 
love, and the like, shone forth in them in the highest 
perfection ; whereas before, they were afraid to stand by 
their Master in His sufferings, and " all forsook Him and 
fled," when He was taken in the garden ; and, during 
His passion, shut " themselves up, for fear of the Jews." 
Now they thought it their greatest glory to lay down their 
very lives for His sake, and went away rejoicing to be 
" counted worthy to suffer ignominy for the name of 
Jesus." Such were the fortitude and grace with which 
the Holy Ghost endowed them ! (2.) The Jews them- 
selves, the hardened Jews, who had for three years re- 
sisted all the chamis of the sanctity, eloquence, and 
miracles of the Son of God, immediately upon the com- 
ing of the Holy Ghost, were converted from their evil 
ways in great numbers, renounced their errors, adored as 
their God that Jesus whom a little before they had cruci- 
fied upon a tree, embraced His heavenly doctrine with 
all their souls, and became His most zealous followers. 
No less than three thousand were converted at once on 
hearing the first sermon St Peter preached to them, and 
five thousand at hearing another. Such power and force 
did the Holy Ghost give to the word, such light and 
understanding to those who heard it ! (3.) The sanctity 
of their lives, after their conversion, was no less con- 
spicuous than their conversion itself. The account the 
Scripture gives of them is most affecting; " And they were 
persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the 
communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
. . . And all they that believed were together, and had 
all things in common. They sold their possessions and 
goods, and divided them all according as every one had 
need; and were continuing daily, with one accord, in the 


temple, . . . praising God, and having favour with all the 
people," Acts, ii. 42. " And the multitude of the believers 
had but one heart and one soul ; neither did any one say 
that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, 
but all things were common to them ; . . . for neither was 
there any one among them that wanted. For as many 
as were owners of lands and houses sold them, and 
brought the price of the things they sold, and laid it 
down before the feet of the apostles ; and distribution 
was made to every one according as he had need," Acts, 
iv. 32; "and every day they ceased not in the temple, 
and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ 
Jesus," Acts, V. 42. 

Q. 36. By what means may we invite and draw do\vn 
the Holy Ghost to our souls, so as to receive the blessed 
effects of His presence ? 

A. The Scripture points out to us these following : (i.) 
We must live innocent lives, flying from all sin, especially 
sins of malice, and all breaches of charity to our neigh- 
bour, and all duplicity and deceit ; for the Holy Spirit, who 
is the Spirit of " wisdom, will not enter into a malicious 
soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins ; for the Holy 
Spirit of discipline will fly from the deceitful, and will 
withdraw Himself from thoughts that are without under- 
standing, and He shall not abide when iniquity cometh 
in," Wis. i. 4. (2.) By self-denial, and mortification of 
our passions, we must divest ourselves of the wisdom of 
the flesh ; for, " the wisdom of the flesh is death ; " but 
the wisdom of " the Spirit is life and peace ; because the 
wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God ; for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither can it be, and they 
who are in the flesh cannot please God," Rom. viii. 6. 
Consequently, so long as we willingly adhere to the wis- 
dom of the flesh, we cannot expect the Spirit of God will 


come to dwell in us. Now, the wisdom of the flesh is 
that which esteems and seeks after all the pleasures of 
the flesh, and in eating and drinking, and all carnal 
delight and sensual enjoyments, and seeks satisfaction 
and happiness in them. This, therefore, we must mortify 
and destroy ; for, as the Scripture declares, " the sensual 
man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of 
God ; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot under- 
stand," I Cor. ii. 14; and therefore, " If you live accord- 
ing to the flesh, you shall die ; but if by the Spirit you 
mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live," Rom. viii. 
13- (3-) ^^'s must also divest ourselves of the spirit of 
the world, which bears an essential opposition to the 
Spirit of God. St Paul shows this opposition when he 
says, " we have received not the spirit of this world, but 
the Spirit which is of God," i Cor. ii. 12. Nay, our 
blessed Lord declares, that "the world cannot receive 
the Comforter, the Spirit of truth," John, xiv. 17. Again, 
the Scripture assures us that " the wisdom " of this spirit 
"of the world, is foolishness with God," i Cor. iii. 19 ; 
that " the friendship of this world is the enemy of God ; 
whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of this world, be- 
comes an enemy of God," James, iv. 4. And the beloved 
disciple exhorts us in this earnest manner : " Love not 
the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any 
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
For all that is in this world is the concupiscence of the 
flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride 
of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world ; 
and the world passeth away and the concupiscence 
thereof," i John, ii. 15. We must therefore mortify all 
inordinate love of the world, all pride, vanity, and ambi- 
tion, and all attachment to riches and honours, to all 
which the spirit of the world strongly inclines and ties 


us, if we wish that the Spirit of God should come and 
dwell in our souls. (4.) Another powerful means to 
draw down this Divine Spirit to our hearts is, to have a 
sincere love for Jesus Christ, and to give proof of it by 
keeping His commandments, this being the ver)' condi- 
tion He requires of us for this purpose. " If you love 
Me," says He, " keep My commandments; and I will ask 
the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, 
that He may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of truth," 
John, xiv. 16. (5.) Lastly, by fervent and earnest prayer, 
we must endeavour to move the Father to send His 
Holy Spirit upon us, prayer being a most powerful means 
for obtaining this Holy Spirit from the Father ; for, " if 
you being evil," says our Saviour, " know how to give 
good gifts to your children, how much more will your 
Father from heaven give the Good Spirit to them that 
ask Him?" Luke, xi. 13. 

Q. 2)'l- In what manner does Jesus Christ exercise the 
office of Judge of the living and the dead? 

A. Chiefly in three ways, (i.) While men are in this 
life, Jesus Christ, as supreme Judge, rewards those who 
serve Him faithfully, and improve the talents and graces 
He gives them, both by the temporal rewards He often 
bestows upon them, and also by giving them still more 
abundant graces; according to what is recorded by St 
Luke, when He ordered the pound {a piece of money) to 
be taken from the slothful and unprofitable servant, and 
given to the faithful servant, who had doubled what his 
Lord had given him, by his diligence and industry: "To 
every one," says He, " that hath, shall be given, and he 
shall abound," Luke, xix. 26. That is, to every one that 
hath, and makes a good use of what he hath, as that pro- 
fitable servant did, more shall be given, that he may still 
more and more abound. In like manner He punishes 


those who abuse His graces, both by temporal miseries 
which He often sends upon them, and especially by with- 
drawing these graces from them, and leaving them to the 
hardness of their own hearts, to follow their own inven- 
tions, according to what He adds on the same occasion : 
" and from him that hath not " (that is, who is unprofit- 
able in what he hath, as that slothful servant was), " even 
that which he hath shall be taken from him," Ibid. Now, 
to bestow rewards and punishments is an act of judicial 
power, and presupposes a judgment made of the merits 
of the persons. (2.) At the particular judgment of each 
one immediately after death, when the soul shall be pre- 
sented before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, and receive 
that sentence from Him which His justice sees fit. (3.) 
At the day of general judgment, when He shall come 
" with great power and majesty," to judge all mankind, 
and confirm their eternal doom. 

Q. 38. Shall every man be judged immediately on his 
death ? 

A. Yes; for the Scripture says, "It is easy before God, 
in the day of death, to reward every one according to his 
ways ; the affliction of an hour maketh one forget great 
delights, and in the end of a man is the disclosing of his 
works," Ecclus. xi. 28. And still more expressly, " It is 
appointed for men once to die, and after this the judg- 
ment," Heb. ix. 27. The same truth is also strongly 
pointed out to us by the parable of the unjust steward, 
whom his master called to account, and put out of his 
stewardship at the same instant of time. Now, when we 
die, our stewardship is at an end ; therefore, then is the 
time when we must give an account. Besides, it is cer- 
tain that the rich glutton was condemned to hell imme- 
diately at his death ; and likewise Lazarus, at his death, 
was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom, a place of 


rest and peace : but, to punish or reward according to 
justice, necessarily requires a previous act of judgment, 
which therefore must have happened at the hour of their 
death to the rich gkitton and to Lazarus. 

Q_. 39. If each one be judged at his death, what need 
is there of the general judgment at the last day? 

A. Several causes are assigned for this : (i.) To vindi- 
cate the Divine Providence before all creatures. In this 
life, "the works of the Most High are glorious, and secret 
and hidden," Ecclus. xi. 4. Proud haughty man, not 
being able to comprehend them, impiously presumes to 
call the conduct of the Almighty to the bar of his human 
reason, and often proceeds so far in his censures upon it, 
as sometimes " to say in his heart. There is no God," Ps. 
xiii. I ; sometimes to deny His Divine Providence and con 
cern about His creatures, and "to say in his heart, God 
hath forgotten; He hath turned away His face, not to see 
the end," Ps. x. 11; or to doubt of His providence, by 
saying, " How doth God know? — He judgeth as it were 
through a mist ; the clouds are His cover, and He doth 
not consider our things," Job, xxii. 13. ; and sometimes 
even to deny His justice, and greatly " provoke God, by 
saying in his heart He will not require it," Ps. x. 13. 
Nay, the secrets of the Divine Providence are so amaz- 
ing, especially in the adversity of the good and the pros- 
perity of the wicked, that even holy people are confounded, 
when they consider it, as David was, when he said, " Be- 
hold, these are sinners, and yet abounding in the world, 
they have obtained riches ; and I said, Then have I in 
vain justified my heart, and washed my hands among the 
innocent. ... I studied that I might know this thing ; it 
is a labour in my sight, until I go into the sanctuary of 
God, and understand concerning their last ends." Now 
it is at the last end that all this mystery will be dis- 

VOL. I. H 


covered ; at the general judgment, when God will appear 
in all His majesty in the presence of all mankind, and 
when all the wondrous ways of His Divine Providence 
shall be revealed, and His justice manifested in all His 
doings; for " He hath prepared His throne in judgment; 
He shall judge the world in equity, He shall judge the 
people in justice. . . . The Lord shall be known when He 
executeth judgment," Ps. ix. 8, 17. 

(2). To do justice to Jesus Christ Himself in His 
human nature, and to fulfil the promises made to Him 
by His Father for this end : for, whereas " He became 
a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the out- 
cast of the people, so that all that saw Him laughed Him 
to scorn," Ps. xxi. 7 ; " and was despised, and the most 
abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with 
infirmity," Isa. liii. 3 ; "so as at last to humble Himself 
to death, even the death of the cross," Philip, ii. ; and 
suffered all this for the glory of His heavenly Father ; 
— ^justice requires that He who was so much humbled 
before men, should also be glorified before them, accord- 
ing to that promise related by the prophet, " Behold, My 
servant shall understand. He shall be exalted, and ex- 
tolled, and exceeding high," Isa. lii. 13. This will be 
done before the whole universe at the general judgment, 
as foretold by the same prophet, " Behold My servant, I 
will upliold Him ; My elect, My soul delighteth in Him ; 
I have given My Spirit upon Him ; He shall bring forth 
judgment to the Gentiles ; . . . He shall bring forth 
judgment unto truth ; . . . He shall set judgment on the 
earth," Isa. xlii. i. At that great day will fully be accom- 
plished these sacred promises made to Him by His 
Father : " The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My 
right hand, till I make Thy enemies Thy footstool. The 
Lord will send forth the sceptre of Thy power out of 


Sion, rule Thou in the midst of Thy enemies ; with Thee 
is the principaUty in the day of Thy strength, in the 
brightness of Thy saints," Ps. cix. i ; for " this Man offer- 
ing one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right 
hand of God, from henceforth expecting until His ene- 
mies be made His footstool," Heb. x. 1 2. Again, " One 
in a certain place hath testified, saying, . . . Thou hast 
put all things in subjection under His feet : for, in that 
He subjected all things to Him, He left nothing not sub- 
ject to Him. But now we see not as yet all things sub- 
ject to Him," Heb. ii. 6, 8 ; but this shall be completely 
done at the end, at the day of judgment, " when He 
shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, 
and virtue ; for He must reign until He hath put all ene- 
mies under His feet ; and the enemy death shall be last 
destroyed," i Cor. xv. 24. At that great day, then, all 
things shall be perfectly subjected to Him, and at the 
sacred " name of Jesus every knee shall bow " before 
Him, " of those that are in heaven, and on earth, and 
under the earth ; and every tongue shall confess that the 
Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father," 
Philip, ii. 10. 

(3.) To do justice to all His holy saints, that they 
who in this life have for His sake suffered number- 
less afflictions and calamities before men, might be 
glorified and rewarded by Him before the whole uni- 
verse, in a manner worthy of Himself, and so as to justify, 
in the eyes of all mankind, the whole of His conduct 
towards them. At present, by a particular disposition of 
the Divine Providence, the elect of God, who are the 
righteous, are often confounded with the wicked, and not 
to be distinguished from hypocrites : His saints, who are 
the meek and humble of heart, far from being honoured 
and respected, are often despised and insulted ; His 


servants, who are the poor in spirit, instead of being re- 
lieved and comforted, are abandoned and neglected : but 
will it be always so ? By no means : " The poor man 
shall not be forgotten to the end ; the patience of the 
poor shall not perish for ever," Ps. ix. 19 ; "Thou wilt be 
a helper to the orphan. . . . The Lord hath heard the 
desire of the poor ; Thy ear hath heard the preparation 
of their heart, to judge for the fatherless and for the 
humble," Ps. x. 14, 17. At that great day the just shall 
be separated from the wicked, and placed on the right 
hand of the Judge in great glory. All their glorious virtues 
and acts of piety shall be manifested to men and angels, 
and they shall be enriched with eternal treasures ; and so 
admirable will their exaltation be, that their enemies, the 
wicked, who oppressed and afflicted them in their mortal 
life, seeing their great glory, " shall be troubled with 
terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of 
their unexpected salvation; saying within themselves, 
repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit : These are 
they whom we sometimes had in derision, and for a par- 
able of reproach ; we fools esteemed their life madness, 
and their end without honour ; behold how they are 
numbered among the children of God, and their lot is 
among the saints ! " Wis. v. i. 

(4.) To execute judgment upon the whole man ; for, 
at the particular judgment after death, the soul alone is 
judged ; but, as both soul and body are companions, in 
all man does in his mortal life, it is fitting that, at the 
resurrection, when both shall be rejoined, both should be 
judged, and both together receive their eternal doom. 

Q. 40. What account does the Scripture give of the 
general judgment ? 

A. As this is one of the most important truths revealed 
by God to man. He has been pleased to give us a most 


minute and awful description of everything concerning it : 
" The great day of the Lord is near," says the prophet 
Sophonias ; " it is near and exceeding swift ; the voice of 
the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man shall there 
meet with tribulation. That day is a day of wrath, a day 
of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, 
a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and of 
whirlwinds, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the 
fenced cities, and against the high bulwarks ; and I will 
distress men, and they shall walk like blind men, because 
they have sinned against the Lord ; their blood shall be 
poured out as earth, and their bodies as dung," Soph. i. 
14. In like manner the prophet Isaias describes it in 
these awful terms : " Behold, the day of the Lord shall 
come, a cruel day, and full of indignation, and of wrath, 
and fury, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sin- 
ners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and their 
brightness shall not display their light ; the sun shall be 
darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not shine wath 
her light ; and I will visit the evils of the world, and 
against the wicked for their iniquity, and I will make the 
pride of infidels to cease, and will bring down the arro- 
gance of the mighty. . . . For this I will trouble the hea- 
ven, and the earth shall be moved out of her place, for 
the indignation of the Lord of hosts, and for the day of 
His fierce wrath," Isa. xiii. 9. And how justly it deserves 
this a^\ful description ^vill appear from the history given 
of it ; whether we consider the signs that will go before 
the judgment itself, or the sentence of the Judge which 
shall conclude the whole. 

Q. 41. What are the signs that shall go before the day 
of judgment? 

A. The Scripture lays them douTi as follows : " When 
you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified; 


these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet 
presently. Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom 
against kingdom ; and there shall be great earthquakes 
in divers places, and pestilences and famines, and terrors 
from heaven, and there shall be great signs," Luke, xxi. 9. 
" Now, all these are the beginnings of sorrows," Mat. 
xxiv. 8; " and because iniquity hath abounded, the charity 
of many shall grow cold, . . . and this gospel of the king- 
dom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testi- 
mony to all nations, and then shall the consummation 
come," Ibid., vers. 12, 14; "and there shall be signs in 
the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars ; and upon 
the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion 
of the roaring of the sea and of the waves. Men wither- 
ing away for fear and expectation of what shall come 
upon the whole world," Luke, xxi. 25 ; for "I will show 
wonders in heaven and in earth, blood, and fire, and va- 
pour of smoke ; the sun shall be turned into darkness, 
and the moon into blood, before the great and dreadful 
day of the Lord doth come," Joel, ii. 30 : " And immediately 
after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be dark- 
ened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars 
shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall 
be moved," Mat. xxiv. 29. "And the heavens departed 
as a book folded up, and every mountain and the islands 
were moved out of their place; and the kings of the earth, 
and the princes, and the tribunes, and the rich men and 
the strong men, and every bond man, and every free man, 
hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the moun- 
tain ; and they say to the mountains and to the rocks. 
Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him that sit- 
teth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ; 
for the great day of their wrath is come, and who shall 
be able to stand?" Rev. vi. 14. After all those dreadful 


forerunners of this great day, a raging fire like a torrent 
shall spread over the whole world, and execute the final 
sentence of destruction upon all creatures that shall then 
be on the face of the earth, and reduce the whole to smoke 
and ashes. " Our God shall come manifestly, our God 
shall come and shall not keep silence : a fire shall bum 
before Him, and a mighty tempest round about Him," 
Ps. xlix. 3. " Clouds and darkness are round about 
Him, justice and judgment are the establishment of His 
throne; a fire shall go before Him, and shall burn His 
enemies round about. His lightnings have shone forth 
to the world; the earth saw and trembled, the mountains 
melted like wax at the presence of the Lord of all the 
earth," Ps. xcvi. 2. " The day of the Lord shall come 
as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with 
great violence, and the elements shall be melted with 
heat, and the earth and the works that are in it shall be 
burnt up," 2 Pet. iii. 10. "The day of the Lord cometh, 
because it is nigh at hand ; a day of darkness and of 
gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds. . . . Before 
the face thereof a devouring fire, and behind it a burn- 
ing flame ; the land is like a garden of pleasure before it, 
and behind it a desolate wilderness ; neither is there any 
one that can escape it," Joel, ii. i. These are the fore- 
runners of this great day, which shall precede the judg- 
ment, and bring along with them the final destruction of 
this world. 

Q. 42. What account does the Scripture give of the 
judgment itself? 

A. The account given of the judgment contains the 
resurrection, the appearance of the Judge, and the judg- 
ment. For, first the angel of God shall come down from 
heaven to summon all the posterity of Adam to rise from 
the dead and come to judgment : " And He shall send 


His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they 
shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from 
the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of 
them," Mat. xxiv. 31. "For the Lord Himself shall 
come down from heaven with commandment, and with 
the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God," 
I Thess. iv. 15. " And in a moment, in the twinkling of 
an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet shall sound, 
and the dead shall rise again incorruptible ; and this 
corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal 
must put on immortality," i Cor. xv. 52. " And the sea 
gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave 
up the dead that were in them," Apoc. xx. 13. "The 
hour Cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear 
the voice of the Son of God, and they that have done 
good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but 
they that have done evil unto the resurrection of con- 
demnation," John, V. 28. "I know that my Redeemer 
liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth, 
and I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my 
flesh I shall see my God, whom I myself shall see, and 
my eyes s^all behold, and not another," Job, xix. 25. 

Then all mankind shall be assembled together in the 
valley of Josaphat, within sight of Mount Calvary, that 
where He underwent the greatest excess of His suffer- 
ings and humiliations, there He may appear in the full 
splendour of His majesty and glory, according to the 
prophet: "And I will gather together all nations, and will 
bring them down to the valley of Josaphat ; ... for there 
will I sit to judge all nations round about," Joel, iii. 2, 12. 
" And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in 
heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, 
and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds 
of heaven with great power and majesty," Mat. xxiv. 30. 


For "Jesus Christ shall be received from heaven with 
the angels of His power in a flame of fire, yielding ven- 
geance to them who know not God, and who obey 
not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ," 2 Thess. i. 7. 
" Behold, He cometh with the clouds, and every eye 
shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him ; and all 
the tribes of the earth shall bewail themselves because of 
Him," Apoc. i. 7. " Behold, the Lord cometh with 
thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, 
and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their 
ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly, and for 
all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken 
against God," Jude, ver. 14. " He put on justice as a 
breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head; 
He put on the garments of vengeance, and was clad with 
zeal as with a cloak. ... As unto revenge as it were to 
repay wrath to His adversaries, and a reward to His 
enemies," Isa. lix. 17. And so great will be the splen- 
dour of His majesty, that " the moon shall blush and the 
sun shall be ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall 
reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and be glorified 
in the sight of His ancients," Isa. xxiv. 23. 

The Judge being now seated in His glory, the grand 
separation shall be made of the good from the bad. At 
present, the kingdom of Christ in this world is likened, 
in Scripture, to a barn floor, in which the good com and 
chaff are mixed together in one heap ; to z. field of corn, 
in which the good grain and tares grow up together till 
the harvest ; to a net cast into the sea, and enclosing all 
kinds of fishes, both good and bad; and to a flock, 
composed both of sheep and goats ; because in this life 
the just and the unjust, the saints and the sinners, the 
children of God and the children of Satan, are mixed to- 
gether in one body, and seldom to be distinguished the 


one from the other ; but at that great day, the Judge, 
" whose fan is in His hand, will thoroughly cleanse His 
floor, and gather His wheat into His barn, but the chaff 
He will burn with unquenchable fire," Mat. iii. 12. And 
when the harvest comes, " the Son of Man shall send 
His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all 
scandals and them that work iniquity," Mat. xiii. 41 ; 
" for at the end of the world the angels shall go and 
separate the wicked from among the just," Ibid. ver. 49 ; 
which is thus particularly described in St Matthew: "And 
when the Son of Man shall come in His majesty, and all 
the angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the seat of 
His majesty, and all nations shall be gathered together 
before Him, and He shall separate them one from 
another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the 
goats, and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but 
the goats on the left; " Mat. xxv. 31. This separation 
will be made without any respect of persons, and purely 
according to what each one deserves ; so that parents 
and children, husbands and wives, friends and compan- 
ions, shall then be separated from one another for ever, 
and the one placed on the right hand, the other on the 
left ; for " in that night there shall be two men in one 
bed {iniimate friends)^ the one shall be taken and the 
other left ; two women shall be grinding together {fellow- 
servants), the one shall be taken and the other shall be 
left ; two men shall be in the field (dear compa?iions), the 
one shall be taken and the other shall be left," Luke, xvii. 
34. What joy and delight will then fill the hearts of the 
righteous ! but what anguish shall pierce the souls of the 
wicked ! " The wicked shall see, and shall be angry; he 
shall gnash with his teeth and pine away," Ps. cxi. 10. 
" There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when 
you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all 


the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you your- 
selves thrust out," Luke, xiii. 28. (See above, Q. 39). 

The separation being made, the judgment will follow, 
which is thus described in Scripture : "I beheld till 
thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days sat down : 
His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head 
like clean wool ; His throne like flames of fire, and the 
wheels of it like a burning fire ; a swift stream of fire 
issued forth from before Him ; thousands of thousands 
ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred 
thousand stood before Him ; the judgment sat, and the 
books were opened," Dan. vii. 9. " And I saw a great 
white throne, and One sitting upon it, from Whose face 
the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was no 
place found for them. And I saw the dead, great and 
small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the 
books were opened : and another book was opened, 
which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged by 
those things which were written in the books, according 
to their works," Rev. xx. 11. These books are the 
books of conscience, from which the whole conduct of 
every one during His mortal life, all the sins he has ever 
been guilty of, however secret and hidden from the eyes 
of the world, shall then be manifested in their most 
glaring colours, before the whole universe, before God 
and His holy angels ; for " every idle word that man 
shall speak, they shall render an account of it in the day 
of judgment," Mat. xii. 36. " There is not anything secret 
that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden that shall not 
be known, and come abroad," Luke, viii. 17; for " we 
shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, and 
then every one of us shall render an account to God for 
himself," Rom. xiv. 10, 12. The Lord will come, "who 
will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, 


and will make manifest the counsel of hearts," i Cor. 
iv. 5 ; and then shall be fulfilled what was spoken by the 
prophets against sinners — " Thy nakedness shall be dis- 
covered, and thy shame shall be seen ; I will take ven- 
geance, and no man shall resist Me," Isa. xlvii. 3, 
" Behold, I come against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, 
and I will discover thy shame to thy face, and vnW show 
thy nakedness to the nations, and thy shame to kingdoms, 
and I will cast abominations upon thee, and \vill disgrace 
thee, and will make an example of thee," Nahum, iii. 5, 
Oh, how miserable a condition will the Christian sinner 
be in at that day when he shall find himself thus 
covered ^\•ith all his sins, and condemned in this great 
judgment as a traitor to his God, a rebel against the 
King of heaven, and a murderer of Jesus Christ ! when 
the men of Nineveh shall rise up against him and con- 
demn him ; and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah 
shall be more mercifully dealt with than he ! 

Q. 43. What effect will all these things have upon the 
just ? 

A. Our Saviour, after describing to the apostles the 
signs that shall go before this great day, says to them, 
" But when these things begin to come to pass, look up 
and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at 
hand," Luke, xxi. 28. And the Scripture says that at 
that day " the just shall stand with gi-eat constancy 
against those that have afflicted them, and taken away 
their labours ; . . . they shall live for evermore, and their 
reward is with the Lord, and a care of them is with the 
Most High," Wis. v. i. 16. Every circumstance of this 
awful day will contribute to their honour and happiness, 
and they shall be exalted in great glory; " for behold the 
day shall come kindled as a furnace, and all the proud, 
and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble ; and the day 


that cometh shall set them on fire, saith the Lord of 
hosts ; it shall not leave them root nor branch. But 
unto you that fear My name the Sun of Justice shall 
arise, and health in His wings, and you shall go forth, and 
shall leap like calves of the herd, and you shall tread 
down the wicked, when they shall be ashes under the 
sole of your feet, in the day that I do this, saith the Lord 
of hosts," Mai. iv. i. And this their happiness shall 
be completed beyond expression, when the sentence of 
eternal bliss shall be pronounced by the great Judge 
upon them. 

Q. 44. What account does the Scripture give of the 
last sentence ? 

A. Christ Himself declares it to us in these words : 
" Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His 
right hand. Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the 
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the 
world. . . . Then shall He say to them also that shall 
be on His left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into 
everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his 
angels." And immediately shall these two sentences 
be executed ; for " these last shall go into everlasting pun- 
ishment, but the just into life everlasting," Mat. xxv. 34. 
" At the end of the world the Son of Man shall send His 
angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all 
scandals, and them that work iniquity, and shall cast 
them into the furnace of fire ; there shall be weeping and 
gnashing of teeth : then shall the just shine as tlie sun in 
the kingdom of their Father," Mat. xiii. 41. Thus the 
whole posterity of Adam shall receive their eternal 
doom either in heaven or hell, in eternal happiness or 
eternal misery. 




Q. 1. W 7" HAT are the benefits which we receive 
V V from the Redeemer ? 

A. They are all comprehended in these three general 
heads ; to wit, satisfaction or propitiation, redemption, 
and impetration — that is to say, that, by the infinite 
merits of what He did and suff"ered for us. He fully satis- 
fied the Divine justice for our sins ; He rendered God 
propitious to us, and inclined to mercy ; He redeemed us 
from sin, from the tyranny of the devil, and from the 
torments of hell ; and He obtained for us all spiritual 
benedictions and graces in this life, and the kingdom of 
heaven in the life to come. 

Q. 2. Were the merits of Christ of infinite value? 

A. By the word meri^ is understood the right or title 
that one person acquires by his services, to receive any 
favour or reward from another. This right may either 
be a right of congruity or a right injustice. A right or title 
of congruity is when the person to whom the service is 
done is nowise obliged to reward it, by any promise or 
agreement, but is at liberty to reward it or not as he 
pleases, and in what manner or proportion he sees proper. 
A right injustice is when the person to whom the service 
is done is bound by promise or agreement to reward it ; 


for by this the other, who does the service, acquires a 
full right and just title to the reward. Now, what Jesus 
Christ did and suffered for the glory and service of His 
Father was of infinite value in itself, and deserved an 
infinite reward ; and His eternal Father Himself laid 
these sufferings upon Him, and engaged, on His under- 
going them, to give the reward which He demanded, 
both in regard to Himself and us. Hence the merits of 
Christ were of infinite value ; and He has acquired a full 
title in justice to everything He demands from His 
Father in reward of them. 

Q. 3. How comes the merit of what Christ did and 
suffered to be of infinite value in itself? 

A. This arises chiefly from three causes: (i.) The 
infinite dignity of His person ; for the more exalted any 
person is, the more meritorious and valuable is any act 
of obsequiousness which he does to please another. (2.) 
The infinite value of what He gave and dedicated to 
the service of His Father, which was no less than the 
actions, sufferings, life and death of God made man. 
(3.) The fervour of His charity and love with which He 
served His Father ; for, from the moment He was con- 
ceived in His Mother's womb, till the moment He expired 
on the cross, everything He did, said, and suffered, was 
all done out of the most perfect obedience to His 
Father's will. Thus, "when He cometh into the world, 
He saith. Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not ; but 
a body Thou hast fitted to go ; holocausts for sin did 
not please Thee. Then said I, Behold, I come, in the 
head of the book it is written of Me, that I should do 
Thy Avill, O God," Heb. x. 5. And this His fervent 
charity to do the will of His Father, was so agree- 
able to Him, that St Paul immediately adds, " By the 
which will we are sanctified by the oblation of the body 


of Jesus Christ once," ver. lo. This perfect obedience 
He carried on through the whole of His Hfe, in every- 
thing He did; so that it was " His meat to do the will of 
Him that sent Him, and to perfect His work," John, iv. 
34. " I do nothing of Myself," says He, " but as the 
Father has taught Me, I speak these things ; .... for I 
do always the things that please Him," John, viii. 28. 
And He laid down His life at last, in the midst of tor- 
ments, from the same Divine motive of obedience to 
His heavenly Father ; " He humbled Himself, becoming 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," Philip, 
ii. 8. Now, a person of such dignity offering to His 
Father a gift of infinite value, and employing Himself 
with such infinite love, and through such dreadful suffer- 
ings for His Father's glory, most certainly deserves an 
infinite reward for such services ; and therefore His 
merits are in themselves of infinite value. 

Q. 4. How does it appear that God the Father laid all 
the suff"erings of Christ upon Him, and promised Him a 
reward for them ? 

A. This is expressly declared by the prophet Isaias, 
who also assures us that this was done in punishment for 
our sins, to make our peace with God, and heal our 
bruises. " Surely He hath borne our infirmities and 
carried our sorrows, and we have thought Him as it were 
a lejDer, and as one struck by God and afflicted : but He 
was wounded for our iniquities. He was bruised for our 
sins, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and 
by His bruises we are healed. . . . And the Lord hath 
laid upon Him the iniquity of us all ; . . . for the wicked- 
ness of My people have I struck Him ; . . . and the 
Lord was pleased to bruise Him in infirmity." Then 
follows the promise of the reward: " If He shall lay do"vvn 
His life for sin. He shall see a long-lived seed, and the 


wHl of the Lord shall be prosperous in His hand. 
Because His soul hath laboured, He shall see and be 
filled ; by His knowledge shall this My just servant 
justify many, and He shall bear their iniquities ; there- 
fore will I distribute to Him very many, and He shall 
dividejhe spoils of the strong," Isa. liii. Hence Jesus 
Christ claimed from His Father an infinite reward as 
His due for what He had done for Him — to wit, the 
eternal glorification of His human nature in heaven, pro- 
mised in the words of the prophet, " He shall see and be 
filled. I have glorified Thee on earth," says He, " I 
have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do ; 
and now glorify Thou Me, O Father, with Thyself, with 
the glory which I had, before the world was, with Thee," 
John, xvii. 4. And He made the same demand for all 
His faithful followers, who should believe in Him. 
" Father, I will that where I am they also whom Thou 
hast given Me may be with Me, that they may see My 
glory which Thou hast given Me," verse 24. 

Q. 5. What is properly meant by the satisfaction and 
propitiation of Christ ? 

A. To give satisfaction for an offence committed, is to 
oflfer to the person off"ended some gift or service equal 
or more pleasing than the offence was displeasing. The 
rigour of justice demands that the satisfaction be equally 
agreeable to the displeasure given by the offence ; and, 
if it be more so, the satisfaction is superabundant. In 
either case the person offended is appeased and satisfied, 
and willing to be reconciled to the offender and to 
forgive the offence. Now, what Jesus Christ did and 
suffered, was of infinite value in the eyes of His Father, 
and therefore infinitely agreeable to Him ; and as it was 
the condition required by the Divine justice to satisfy 
for the sins of men, therefore His satisfaction was not 

VOL. I. I 


only equal to the offence but infinitely superabundant, 
and on that account fully appeased the wrath of God 
against man, made Him willing to be reconciled with 
man, and to forgive the offence received by his sins. In- 
asmuch as this satisfied the demands of justice, it is 
properly called satisfaction ; and inasmuch as it rendered 
God propitious, or inclined to mercy, it is called propi- 
tiation. Now, the Scripture everywhere proposes the 
sufferings and death of Christ as a satisfaction to the 
justice of God, and on that account taking away the 
effects of His justice against man, and as a propitiation 
for our sins, appeasing the wTath of God and reconciling 
us with Him. Thus St Paul declares, that " God hath 
set forth Jesus Christ to be a propitiation through faith 
in His blood, to the showing of His justice through the 
remission of former sins, through the forbearance of 
God, for the showing of His justice in this time," Rom. 
iii. 25. But that justice being now satisfied by the 
sufferings of Christ, He hath "blotted out the hand- 
writing of the decree that was against us, and He hath 
taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the Cross," 
Col. ii. 14. St John also says, "Jesus Christ the just, 
He is the propitiation for our sins," i John, ii. 2. " And 
God loved us first, and sent His Son to be a propitiation 
for our sins," i John, iv. 10. "When enemies, we were 
reconciled to God by the death of His Son," Rom. v, 10. 
" All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Him- 
self by Christ," 2 Cor. v. 18. "Christ is our peace," 
says St Paul, " and died both for Jews and Gentiles, that 
he might reconcile both to God in one body by the 
Cross," Eph. ii. 14, 16. "It hath well pleased the 
Father, through Him, to reconcile all things to Himself, 
making peace through the blood of His Cross," Col. i. 
20. "The God of our Fathers," said St Peter to the 


Jews, " hath raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, 
hanging Him upon a tree. Him hath God exalted with 
His right hand to be a Prince and Saviour, to give 
repentance to Israel, and remission of sins," Acts, v. 30. 
In Christ " we have redemption through His blood, the 
remission of sins," Eph. i. 7. 

Q. 6. What is understood by the redemption of Christ? 

A. To redeem is, properly speaking, to buy anything 
again, which was formerly one's own, but had gone into 
the possession of another ; and, when applied to men, it 
signifies to buy one out of slavery, who had been formerly 
free. Now, God at the beginning created man in a state 
of freedom, serving God indeed, but with voluntary 
obedience, and out of love as a son, not by force and 
out of fear as a slave ; for to serve God is the only true 
liberty. But man, by sin, withdrawing himself from the 
easy service of God, became the servant of sin, according 
to the words of our Saviour, " Amen, amen, I say unto 
you, that whosoever committeth sin is the servant of 
sin," John, viii. 34 ; and was so tyrannised over by that 
cruel master, that " all the thought of his heart was bent 
upon evil at all times," Gen. vi. 5. "Without his being 
sufficient of himself, as of himself, to think any good," 
2 Cor. iii. 5. Besides, as in committing sin he had 
been overcome by the devil, and obeyed him in preference 
to God ; therefore he was also enslaved to the devil ; for 
" by whom a man is overcome, of the same also is he the 
slave," 2 Pet. ii. 19 ; and, "to whom you yield yourselves 
servants to obey, his sei"vants you are whom you obey," 
Rom. vi. 16 ; and being by this means entangled in the 
snares of that cruel master, " was by him held captive at 
his will," I Tim. ii. 26. Not that God had lost His 
supreme dominion and power over man, but that He 
justly delivered him up to be tyrannised over by sin and 


Satan, as the executioners of the Divine justice, in 
punishment of having voluntarily left the easy and delight- 
ful service of his heavenly Father. Nor did the miserable 
slavery of man end with this life ; for, as by sin he had 
become an object of the Divine vengeance, he was 
condemned by the justice of God to suffer the eternal 
punishment of hell in the life to come, under the never- 
ending tyranny of Satan. Now, from this miserable and 
never-ending slavery, Jesus Christ came to redeem us, by 
paying a price for us of infinite value to the Divine 
justice; for "you were not redeemed with corruptible 
things, such as gold or silver, . . . but with the precious 
Blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled," 
I Pet. i. 1 8. " But Christ being come, . . . neither by 
the blood of goats, nor of calves, but by His own Blood, 
entered once into the holies, having obtained eternal 
redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and 
the ashes of an heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as 
are defiled to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more 
shall the Blood of Christ, who, through the Holy Ghost, 
offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse our con- 
science from dead works to serve the living God?" 
Heb. ix. 1 1 ; for He also partook of flesh and blood, that 
through death He might destroy him who had the 
empire of death, the devil ; and might deliver them who, 
through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject 
to bondage," Heb. ii. 14. 

Q. 7. What is the principal effect of our redemption 
by Christ ? 

A. As the first cause and source of our slavery is sin — 
because by sin we are enslaved to the devil, and con- 
demned to hell — so the principal effect of our redemption 
by Christ is the delivering us from sin, by which we are, 
of course, delivered both from Satan and hell. Hence 


the Scripture always speaks of this as the greatest of 
benefits, and Christ is styled our Redeemer and Saviour 
chiefly on this account. Thus the angel Gabriel de- 
clared to St Joseph, before He was born, " Thou shalt 
call His name Jesus " (or Saviour), " for He shall save 
His people from their sins," Mat. i. 21. "A faithful 
saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus 
came into this world to save sinners," i Tim. i. 15. For 
this He was raised up and exalted by His Father ; for 
" Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be 
Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and re- 
mission of sins. Acts, v. 31. " To Him all the prophets 
gave testimony, that through His name all receive remis- 
sion of sins who believe in Him," Acts, x. 43. " Be it 
known therefore to you, men and brethren, that through 
Him remission of sins is preached to you, and from all 
the things from which you could not be justified by the 
law of Moses," Acts, xiii. 38. Him " God hath sent 
forth to be a propitiation through faith in His Blood, 
for the remission of former sins," Rom. iii. 25. "In 
whom we have redemption through His Blood, the remis- 
sion of sins," Eph. i. 7. " The Blood of Jesus Christ 
His Son cleanseth us from all sin," i John, i. 7. " But 
you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justi- 
fied in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," i Cor, vi. 11. 
" The Blood of Christ cleanseth our consciences from 
dead works," Heb. ix. 14. Jesus Christ hath "loved us 
and washed us from our sins in His own Blood," Apoc. 
i. 5. Now, whereas "our wrestling is not against flesh 
and blood, but against principalities and powers, against 
the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirit 
of wickedness in high places," Eph. vi. 12 ; against "the 
devil, who goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom 
he may devour," i Pet. v. 8; and whereas, "for this 


purpose the Son of God appeared, that He might de- 
stroy the works of the devil," i John, iii. 8, by dehvering 
us from our sins ; consequently by so doing, He also has 
delivered us from the tyranny of that cruel master, and 
taken our nature upon Him, " that through death He 
might destroy him who hath the empire of death, that is 
the devil ; and might deliver them who, through fear of 
death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage," Heb. 
ii. 14. And therefore He Himself declares, "Now is 
the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this 
world be cast out," John, xiii. 31. In consequence of 
this we are also delivered by Him from that eternal 
punishment to which we must otherwise have been con- 
demned for our sins ; for " Christ died for us ; much more, 
therefore, being now justified by His Blood, shall we be 
saved from wTath through Him," Rom. v. 9, " who hath de- 
livered us from the power of darkness," Col. i. 13, and "who 
hath delivered us from the wrath to come," i Thes. i. 10. 

Q. 8. Was it necessary that Christ should do and suffer 
as much as He did in order to purchase this redemption 
for man? 

A. Far from it ; for, considering the infinite dignity 
of His Person, and the ardent charity with which He 
always acted according to His Father's will, the smallest 
action or suffering of His was of infinite value in itself, 
and sufficient to redeem ten thousand worlds. But it 
was the will of the Almighty that He should do and 
suffer so much, and at last die on the Cross, and shed 
the last drop of His precious Blood for us, that He might 
the more efficaciously demonstrate the greatness of His 
love for us ; for " greater love than this no man hath, 
that a man lay down his life for his friend," John, xv. 13 : 
and " God commendeth His charity to us ; because, 
when as yet we were sinners, Christ died for us," Rom. 


V. 8 ; also that He might the more abundantly glorify 
His eternal Father, by the supereminent greatness of 
His merits, and the more perfectly accomplish the work 
His Father gave Him to do in redeeming mankind ; and 
that He might the more effectually encourage and excite 
us to love Him, and repose a perfect confidence in His 
infinite goodness. Hence we find it expressly declared 
in Scripture : (i.) That what Christ did for our redemp- 
tion was not only sufiicient, but superabundant. Thus 
Jesus Christ " is the propitiation for our sins ; and not 
for ours only, but also for those of the whole world," 
I John, ii. 2. " With the Lord there is mercy, and with 
Him plentiful redemption," Ps. cxxix. 7. " By one ob- 
lation He hath perfected for ever them that are sancti- 
fied," Heb. X. 14. " In whom we have redemption 
through His Blood according to the riches of His grace, 
which hath superabounded in us," Eph. i. 7. " But not 
as the offence so also is the gift ; for if by the offence of 
one many have died, much more the grace of God, and 
the gift in the grace of one man Jesus Christ, hath 
abounded unto many ; . . . where sin abounded, grace 
hath abounded more," Rom. v. 15, 20. "God, who is 
rich in mercy, for His exceeding great charity wherewith 
He loved us, even when we were dead by sins, hath 
quickened us together in Christ, . . . that He might 
show in the ages to come the abundant riches of His 
grace in His bounty towards us in Christ Jesus," Eph. ii. 
4. (2.) That it was the express decree of the Almighty 
that He should lay down His life in order to procure the 
redemption of mankind. " If He shall lay down His 
life for sin. He shall see a long-lived seed." Is. liii. 
" This same Jesus being delivered up by the determinate 
counsel and foreknowledge of God, you, by the hands 
of wicked men, have crucified and slain," Acts, ii. 23, 


said St Peter to the Jews in his first sermon. " For of a 
truth," said the whole Church to God, " there assembled 
together in this city, against Thy Holy Child Jesus, 
whom Thou hast anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, 
and the Gentiles, with the people of Israel, to do what 
Thy hand and Thy counsel decreed to be done," Acts, 
iv. 27. Hence Christ Himself, speaking of His Passion 
to His apostles, always speaks of His sufferings and 
death as what He must undergo. " From that time 
Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go 
to Jerusalem, and suffer many things, . . . and be put 
to death," Mat. xvi. 21 ; and to the disciples, after His 
resurrection. He said, " Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, 
and to rise again the third day," Luke, xxiv. 46. That 
it was on this condition He was to bring forth much 
fruit by the redemption of mankind, and enter Himself 
into glory. He shows in these texts : " The hour is come 
that the Son of Man should be glorified. Amen, amen, 
I say unto you, unless the grain of wheat fall into the 
ground and die, it remaineth alone ; but if it die, it 
bringeth forth much fruit," John, xii. 23 ; and " ought 
not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter 
into His glory?" Luke, xxiv. 26. 

Q. 9. What is meant by the benefit of Christ's impe- 
tration ? 

A. It means that Christ, by the infinite merits of His 
passion and death, obtained for us all spiritual benedic- 
tions and graces in this life, all the means necessary for 
attaining eternal happiness, and eternal happiness itself 
in the life to come. Insomuch that it is only in and 
through Him that any favour, grace, or blessing is be- 
stowed upon us by God, or that anything we do can be 
agreeable or acceptable to God, or conducive to our 
eternal salvation. Hence we find it declared in Scrip- 


ture that all the graces we receive from God, and our 
salvation itself, flow only from this source. Thus (i.) 
with regard to all graces in general, St Paul says, " He 
that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him 
up for us all, how hath He not also with Him given us 
all things?" Rom. viii. 32, And therefore, "Blessed 
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly 
things in Christ," Eph. i. 3. For " of His fulness we 
have all received, and grace for grace," John, i. 16; " and 
in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, 
and you are filled in Him, AVho is the head of all princi- 
pality and power," Col. ii. 9. " As all things of His 
Divine power, which api:)ertain to life and godliness, are 
given us through the knowledge of Him Who hath called 
us by His own proper glory and virtue, by whom He 
hath given us most great and precious promises, that by 
these you may be made partakers of the Divine nature," 
2 Pet. i. 3. (2.) The grace of our election; for "He 
hath chosen us in Him" {Christ) "before the foundation 
of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in 
His sight in charity, Who hath predestinated us unto the 
adoption of children, through Jesus Christ," Eph. i. 4. 
(3.) The grace of our vocation ; for " He hath delivered 
us and called us by His holy calling, not according to 
our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, 
which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of 
the world," 2 Tim. i. 9. ..." Wherefore, holy brethren, 
partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle 
and High Priest of our profession, Jesus," Heb. iii. i. 
" For God is faithful, by Whom you are called unto the 
fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord," i Cor. i. 
9. " In Whom we are called by lot, being predestinated 
according to the purpose of Him, Who worketh all things 


according to the counsel of His will," Eph. i. 11. (4.) 
The grace of justification — to A\-it, that sanctifying grace 
which, applying to our souls the fruits and efficacy of the 
Blood of Jesus, washes and cleanses them from all the 
defilements and pollutions of sin, adorns us A\-ith the 
heavenly beauty of holiness, and makes us just before 
God ; for " the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all 
sins," I John, i. 7 ; but "we are justified freely by His grace, 
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Rom. iii. 
24, Who " by one oblation, perfected for ever them that 
are sanctified," Heb. x. 14. Indeed, " such some of you 
were" (to wit, guilty of many cri7?ies), " but you are washed, 
but you are sanctified, but you are justified, in the name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ," i Cor. vi. 11. " ^\^l0 is 
made to us from God, wisdom and justice, and sanctifi- 
cation and redemption,'"' i Cor. i. 30. (5.) Habitual 
grace, by which we remain in Christ and He in us, 
which dignifies all our good works, and makes them 
acceptable and agreeable to God, and consequently 
meritorious of eternal life, and by which they become 
the works of Christ Himself, as the fruit produced by 
the branches is chiefly the fruit of the vine from which 
the branches receive their nourishment. " Abide in Me," 
says Christ, " and I in you. As the branch cannot bear 
fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine ; so neither can 
you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you the 
branches ; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same 
beareth much fruit ; for without Me you can do nothing," 
John, XV. 4. ^\^lat that fruit is St Paul tells us, saying, 
" But now being made free from sin, and become servants 
to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the 
end everlasting life," Rom. vi. 22. " For the fruit of the 
light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth," Eph. v. 
9 — to wit, all manner of good works ; and therefore St 


Peter exhorts us to labour the more, that by good works 
" we may make our caUing and election sure," 2 Peter, i. 
10. (6.) Eternal glory in the salvation of our souls, 
which is represented to us as the end of all these other 
graces, and the ultimate effect in us of our redemption 
through Jesus. " Christ died for us when sinners, much 
more, therefore, being now justified through His Blood, 
shall we be saved from wTath through Him," Rom. v. 9. 
For " Whom He predestinated, them He also called ; 
and whom He called, them He also justified ; and whom 
He justified, them He glorified," Rom. viii. 30. " Ac- 
cording to His mercy He saved us by the laver of re- 
generation, and the renovation of the Holy Ghost, Whom 
He hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus 
Christ our Saviour ; that being justified by His grace, we 
may be heirs, according to hope, of everlasting life," Tit. 
iii. 5. " The grace of God is life everlasting in Christ 
Jesus," Rom. vi. 23 ; " for God hath not appointed us to 
Avrath, but to the purchasing salvation by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, Who died for us, that we may live together with 
Him," I Thess. v. 9. " And being consummated He 
became the cause of salvation to all that obey Him," 
Heb. v. 9, and therefore we have a confidence in " the 
entering into the Holies by the Blood of Christ, a new 
and living way, which He hath dedicated for us through 
the veil, that is to say. His flesh,'" Heb. x. 19, 20. 
Lastly, that Jesus Christ alone is the source of our salva- 
tion is expressly declared by St Peter : " Neither is there 
salvation in any other," says he, " for there is no other 
name under heaven given to men whereby we must be 
saved, but the Name of Jesus only," Acts, iv. 12. And as 
" there is ' but " one God," so there is but " one Media- 
tor of God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave 
Himself a redemption for all," i Tim. ii. 5. 


Q. 10. Why is Jesus Christ called a Mediator? 

A. Because He is truly " the Mediator of God and 
man " in the most perfect sense of the word. A media- 
tor is one who acts between two, either to obtain par- 
don, or to procure some benefit from the one for the 
other. Now a mediator may obtain this pardon or 
benefit either as a right in justice by paying an equiva- 
lent price, or as a favour through prayer and intercession. 
Man by sin had grievously oftended God, and Avas an 
object of His wrath and indignation; Jesus Christ 
appears as a Mediator to obtain pardon from God to 
man ; to purchase this He paid a price of infinite value, 
the merits of all His sufierings, and death upon the Cross, 
by which He acquired a right and title, in justice, to 
demand the pardon from His Father, and all other graces 
for us ; but that nothing might be wanting to the per- 
fection of His mediatorship, to His sufferings and death 
He also joined most fervent prayers for the same end. 
Hence the Scripture says, "Therefore He is the Mediator 
of the New Testament, that by means of His death for 
the redemption of those transgressions which were under 
the former Testament, they that are called may receive 
the promise of eternal inheritance," Heb. ix. 15; and, 
" in the days of His flesh, offering up prayers and suppli- 
cations with a strong cry, and tears, to Him that was 
able to save Him from death, was heard for His rever- 
ence," Heb. V. 7. By the former He is a Mediator of 
Redemption, and the only Mediator between God and 
man ; by the latter He is also a Mediator of interces- 
sion, but so that He has a right in His own person to 
claim what He asks for us as His own due. When one 
man intercedes with God for another, he is also a media- 
tor of intercession, but such a one has no right nor title 
in himself to demand what he prays for, but must expect 


to be heard only through mercy and favour ; yea, this 
very mercy and favour he can look for only in and 
through the merits of Jesus Christ ; so that all good to 
man must come from that source alone, whatever be the 
immediate instruments or means of applying to it. 

Q. II. As Jesus Christ has done so much for the sal- 
vation of mankind, will all mankind be saved ? 

A. Far from it ; on the contrary, the light which the 
Holy Scripture gives us on this point expressly declares 
that " many are called, but few are chosen ; " which 
alamiing truth Jesus Christ repeats on two different occa- 
sions, and further assures us, in the plainest terms, that 
" wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to 
destruction, and many there are who walk therein ; but 
oh, how narrow is the gate," says He, " and straight the 
way, that leadeth to life, and few there are who find it ! " 
Mat. vii. 13. By which it is plain that the number of 
those who are lost is much greater than of those who are 

Q,. 12. How comes this? Does not God will all men 
to be saved ? 

A. He certainly does. St Paul declares it in the 
plainest terms : " God will have all men to be saved, and 
come to the knowledge of the truth," i Tim. ii. 4. 

Q. 13. Did not Christ die for all mankind ? 

A. Most assuredly ; " Jesus Christ gave Himself a re- 
demption for all," I Tim. ii. 6 ; " and He is the propi- 
tiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for 
those of the whole world," i John, ii. 2. 

Q. 14. How comes it, then, that such numbers will be 

A. From their own fault alone. To understand this, 
we must observe that, as God created man a free agent, 
He therefore required from him a free and voluntary ser- 


vice, as we have seen above at large, Chap. III. Qu. i8. 
But man, abusing his free-will, rebelled against his God, 
and forfeited all the favours which God had bestowed 
upon him in this life, with all title to that eternal reward 
which He had prepared for him in the life to come; and 
also became utterly incapable of taking the smallest step 
towards making his peace with his Creator. Now, though 
Jesus Christ fully satisfied the Divine justice for the offence 
committed against God, and rendered Him propitious, 
and willing to be reconciled with us, obtaining grace to 
enable us to do on our part what should be required of 
us to complete our reconciliation ; yet, it is manifest, 
that, if we still continue in our rebellion against God, 
refusing to return to His service, and to perform the con- 
ditions which He requires, the merits of Christ cannot be 
applied to our souls, so as to reinstate us in the favour 
of God, or secure our salvation. We lost His favour by 
the voluntary abuse of our free-will, and it is impossible 
to recover it without our voluntary performance of what 
He requires from us for that end. Though Christ died for 
all, and obtained so many benefits for all, yet He forces 
no one to accept these benefits; nor will all He did avail 
us unless His merits be applied to our souls, through 
the use of the means and the performance of the condi- 
tions which He has appointed. Hence the Scripture ex- 
pressly declares, that " Christ is become the cause of 
eternal salvation to all that obey Him," Heb. v. 9. Now 
as God wills all to be saved, and as Jesus Christ died for 
all, therefore God, through the merits of Christ, gives 
to all men, in the way He sees proper and suitable to 
their state, the necessary helps of His grace, to enable 
them to perform the conditions He requires from them, 
and by that means to secure their salvation. But, alas! 
the greatest number still continuing to abuse their free- 


will, refuse to co-operate with that grace ; and hence, as 
they do not perform the conditions required, they are 
therefore lost for ever ! 

(2- 15. What are the conditions which God requires 
of us to be saved ? 

A. They may all be reduced to two general heads: 
(i.) To believe what Christ teaches j and (2.) To obey 
what He commands; or, in other words, Faith and Love; 
for by Faith we believe, and by Love we obey. Hence 
St Paul lays down these two conditions as the only means 
by which we can reap any benefit from the redemption 
of Christ : "In Christ Jesus," says he, "neither Circum- 
cision availeth anything, nor Uncircumcision, but Faith 
that worketh by Charity," Gal. v. 6. 




Q. I. TT THAT is Faith? 

V V A. Faith, taken in the general sense of 
the word, is our beHef of any truth founded on the testi- 
mony of others. To understand this, we must observe 
that there are different ways by which we can come to the 
knowledge of any truth. For some things can be knowoi 
only by experience — that is, by the testimony of our two 
principal senses of toicching and seemg; and this is gene- 
rally the first source of our knowledge, and a very extensive 
one : by this we know the existence of all things about us, 
with all their sensible qualities and properties, and the 
like. Other things there are which can only be known by 
reason — that is, when from known principles we argue 
and draw conclusions which lead us to the knowledge of 
numberless truths, which the senses alone could never 
have acquired. Lastly, there are other things which can 
never be known, either by reason or experience, but only 
by hearing the testimony of those who know them ; and 
the belief we have of such things is called Faith. By 
this means alone we can acquire the knowledge of all 
past matters of fact, of things that happen at a distance 
from us, and of all such things as do not fall under the 


examination of our senses, and are above the compre- 
hension of human reason. 

Q. 2. How many kinds of faith are there ? 

A. Two kinds — human faith and Divine faith. Hu- 
man faith is behef in anything we learn from the testi- 
mony of man, and Divine faith is behef in anything we 
receive on the testimony of God. 

Q_. 3. Is faith a certain means of acquiring knowledge? 

A. The certainty of what we learn from the testimony 
of others depends upon the authority of those who give 
the testimony — that is, upon their knowledge and vera- 
city. Two things are necessary to make us certain of 
what we hear from another — that he be not mistaken 
himself in what he relates, and that he speak exactly 
according to his knowledge. Where we are persuaded 
of these two things, we can have no reasonable doubt of 
the truth of what we hear; but if either of these be 
wanting, we can have no certain faith in such testimony. 
Now, though in the ordinary course of life the testimony 
of other men is a very general and extensive source of 
knowledge, and in many cases must be entirely depended 
upon ; yet, as all men are liable to be mistaken them- 
selves, or to deceive us, therefore human faith, properly 
speaking, cannot be said to carry an absolute certainty 
along with it. But Avith Divine faith the case is other- 
wise ; for as it is simply impossible that God should be 
deceived Himself, and no less impossible that He should 
mean to deceive His creatures, therefore everything we 
know from the testimony of God, we know \\\\\\ the most 
absolute certainty of its being true. 

Q. 4. What description do the Scriptures give of 
Divine faith ? 

A. St Paul says that " faith is the substance of things 
to be hoped for, the evidence of things that are not seen," 

VOL. I. K 


Heb. xi. He calls it " the substance of things to be 
hoped for," because the happiness we hope for in the 
next life is above all human comprehension; so that 
neither experience nor reason can give us any idea of it, 
and it is only by Divine faith we know it ; but this 
Divine faith, founded on the infallible testimony of God 
Himself, gives us such a feeling conviction and persua- 
sion of the greatness of it, that it renders it in a manner 
present with us, as St Chrysostom observes, so as to sup- 
port and encourage us under all our afflictions, as if we 
already possessed it. He calls it also " the evidence of 
things not seen ; " because though it be possible for us to 
see with our eyes, or comprehend by our reason the 
great truths of eternity which Jesus Christ has revealed 
to us, yet His Divine revelation gives us a more convinc- 
ing evidence of their truth than if we saw them with our 
very eyes themselves. And it is in preferring His Divine 
word and authority in revealing them to anything our 
senses or reason can oppose to the contrary, that the 
merit of our faith precisely consists ; because by this we 
do the greatest homage to the infinite wisdom and veracity 
of God, while we humble the proud idol of our own 
judgment to His Holy word, " and captivate our under- 
standings in obedience to Him;" hence Jesus Christ 
says to St Thomas, " Because thou hast seen Me, 
Thomas, thou hast believed ; blessed are they that have 
not seen and have believed," John, xx. 29. 

Q. 5. What is faith in Jesus Christ ? 

A. It is the firm belief of all those heavenly truths 
which He has revealed to man concerning God and 
eternity, and the salvation of our souls. 

Q. 6, Could not man have acquired the knowledge of 
these heavenly truths by his own strength ? 

A. No. It was impossible for man, by his own abili- 


ties, ever to have attained the knowledge of them, as we 
have seen above, Chap. VI. 9, 25. These truths are 
above nature, they belong to another world, and many 
of them depend solely upon the will and good pleasure 
of God, and, therefore, could never have been known to 
man unless God had revealed them to him. Hence the 
Holy Scripture says, " Hardly do we guess aright at 
things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find 
the things that are before us ; but the things that are in 
heaven who shall search?" Wis. ix. 16. And Christ 
Himself, Who assures us that life eternal consists in 
"knowing the only living and true God, and Jesus 
Christ Whom He hath sent," John, xvii. 3, declares also 
that " no man knoweth who the Son is but the Father, 
and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the 
Son will reveal Him," Luke, x. 22. So that Jesus Christ 
Himself, the Son of God, made man, is the heavenly 
teacher, by Whom the knowledge of the Father, and of 
all the truths of salvation, is communicated to us. 

Q. 7. Can we depend upon the truth of what He 
teaches ? 

A. Most undoubtedly ; for as He is God, a Being of 
infinite wisdom. Who essentially knows all things, it is 
manifestly impossible He should ever be deceived Him- 
self, or make the smallest mistake in anything He says ; 
and as He is a God of infinite truth — nay, truth itself — 
and, at the same time, infinitely holy, incapable of the 
smallest imperfection, it is no less impossible for Him 
ever to deceive His creatures, so that whatever He says 
must be absolutely and infallibly true. 

Q. 8. Are we then obliged to believe whatever He 
teaches ? 

A. Most certainly ; for as ever}'thing taught or 
revealed by Him is absolutely true, whenever we know 


anything to be His doctrine, we must either believe it to 
be a real truth, or, by refusing to believe it, suppose Him 
guilty of telling a lie, which would be a manifest impiety, 
and the highest injury done to His infinite wisdom and 
veracity. Hence the Scripture says, " He that believeth 
not maketh God a liar, because he believeth not the 
testimony which God hath given of His Son," i John, v. 
10. Now how can we expect any part ^vith Christ if we 
make God a liar ? 

Q. 9. Does He require of all men to believe in Him 
as a condition of salvation ? 

A. Yes, He does. As He is the only Saviour of man- 
kind, who by shedding His precious blood redeems all 
men from their sins, and from the slavery of Satan, so all 
who wish to partake of His salvation must acknowledge 
Him as their Redeemer, and believe in Him ; nay, this 
belief or faith in Him is the very first step towards our 
salvation, the foundation and groundwork of all the 
duties we owe Him. 

Q. 10. How so? 

A'. Because it is self-evident that we can neither love 
Hinj, nor hope in Him, nor honour Him, nor obey Him, 
except we first believe in Him, and receive in faith what 
He teaches. Yet He has expressly declared that unless 
we love Him and obey Him, there is no salvation for 
us ; and St Peter assures us that " there is no other name 
given to men, under heaven, by which we can be saved 
but the name of Jesus only," Acts, iv, 12. 

(2- II. How were those saved who lived in the world 
before the time of Christ ? 

A. From the beginning there never was any other 
name given to men by which they could be saved but 
the name of Jesus only ; so that all that ever were saved 
from the beginning were saved only by believing in Jesus 


I Christ the Redeemer, who was then to come, and obey- 
ing the law which God then gave them, as now we can 
be saved only by believing in the same Redeemer, who 
is already come, and obeying the law of His Gospel. 

Q. 12. Is it enough to believe in the Person of Jesus 
Christ, " That He is the Son of God made man," in order 
to be saved ? 

A. We must not only believe in His Person, but we 
must also believe all that he has revealed — His whole 
doctrine; for how can we believe that Jesus Christ is 
God if we refuse to believe any one thing that He says, 
and by that means suppose Him either ignorant or a liar? 

Q. 13. But is it not enough to have the faith of Peter: 
now his faith was, " Thou art Christ, the Son of the living 
God," for which Christ pronounced him blessed, and yet 
this was only faith in His Person ? 

A. The faith of Peter is certainly sufficient; and at 
that time Peter only made profession of his faith in the 
Person of Christ, because that was the only point pro- 
posed by our Saviour when He said, " Whom say ye that 
I am ? " and it is the chief article of our faith in Christ, 
upon which all the rest depend. But the faith of Peter 
was by no means confined to this only, for afterwards, 
when some of the disciples left Him because they would 
not believe the sublime doctrine He was teaching them 
concerning the blessed Eucharist, and Christ asked His 
apostles, " Will you also leave Me ? " Peter immediately 
answered, " Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the 
words of eternal life," John, vi. 69, which shows how 
firmly he believed His words also, even in things he did 
not understand as well as the Divinity of His Person. 

Q. 14. Is the necessity of faith or belief in Jesus Christ 
and His doctrine declared in the Scripture ? 

A. As the virtue of faith in Jesus Christ and His doc- 


trine is the foundation of all other Christian virtues, and 
of all Christian duties, Almighty God has been pleased 
that it should be laid down in the Holy Scriptures in the 
clearest and plainest terms. 

Thus, with regard to his Person, "This is His command, 
that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ," i 
John, iii. 23. " He that believeth not is already con- 
demned, because he believeth not in the name of the 
only begotten Son of God," John, iii. 18. " He that be- 
lieveth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of 
God remaineth in him," John, iii. t,6. " Many seducers 
are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus 
Christ is come in the flesh : this is a seducer and an anti- 
christ," 2 John, ver. 7. " He that believeth not, makes 
God a liar, because he believeth not the testimony which 
God has given of His Son," i John, v. 10. 

With regard to His word or His doctrine, when He 
gave His apostles the commission to go and teach all 
nations those things which He had commanded them, 
He immediately adds, "He that believes and is baptised, 
shall be saved, and he that believes not, shall be con- 
demned," Mat. 7/U., Mark ?///. And on another occasion 
He says to them, " Whosoever shall not hear you or re- 
ceive your words, when you depart out of that city, shake 
off the dust from your feet ; verily I say unto you, it shall 
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah 
in the day of judgment than for that city," Mat. x. 
" Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and My words," 
says Christ, " in this sinful and adulterous generation, of 
him also the Son of Man shall be ashamed when He 
shall come in the glory of His Father, with His holy 
angels," Mark, viii. 38 ; Luke, ix. 26. " He that revol- 
teth and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath 
not God," 2 John, ix. . . . "Jesus Christ shall be revealed 


from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, tak- 
ing vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not 
the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be pun- 
ished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of 
the Lord, and from the glory of His power," 2 Thess. i. 
In all which plain testimonies we see that the receiving 
His words, the embracing His doctrine, and the obeying 
His Gospel, are laid down as necessary conditions of sal- 
vation, without which " everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord " will undoubtedly be our portion. 

Lastly. With regard to faith in general, both in His 
person and doctrine, and to the great crime and punish- 
ment of unbelievers, the Scriptures speak thus : " AVithout 
faith it is impossible to please God," Heb. xi. 6; "As for 
unbelievers, and murderers, and fornicators, and adul- 
terers, their portion shall be in a lake burning with fire and 
brimstone, which is the second death," Rev. xxi. 8. Hence 
the holy apostle St Jude says, in the beginning of his epis- 
tle, " It is necessary to write, to beseech you to contend, 
earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints;" and 
then goes on, in the rest of his short epistle, to expose, in 
the strongest colours, the wickedness and punishment of 
those who corrupt this true faith by false doctrine ; and St 
Paul, writing to the Galatians, pronounces a curse, and re- 
peats it a second time, upon any one who shall dare to change 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or in any one article teach an- 
other Gospel than what he had already taught them, Gal. i. 

Q. 15. As true faith in Jesus Christ, or the belief of all 
those Divine truths which He has revealed, is so strictly 
required by Almighty God from all as a condition of sal- 
vation, how can we possibly know what those tniths are 
which He has revealed, and which we are obliged to believe? 

A. This can be known only by means of the rule which 
Jesus Christ established for that purpose. 




Q. I. T T AS Jesus Christ left us a rule by which 
Jr~l we niay know the truths He has re- 
vealed ? 

A. He has ; and it is only by following this rule that 
we are preserved in that one true faith, of which the 
Scripture says, there is "one Lord, one faith, one 
baptism," Eph. iv. 5, and "without which faith it is im- 
possible to please God," Heb. xi. 6. Hence St Paul, 
exhorting all to be of the same mind — that is, to believe 
the same truths and to have the same faith — commands 
us to continue in this rule, as the means to be so; "Never- 
theless," says he, "whereunto we are already arrived, that 
we be of the same mind, let us also continue in the same 
rule," Philip, iii. 16. 

Q. 2. Have we any description of this rule in the 
Scriptures ? 

A. Yes, we have. The prophet Isaiah, foretelling the 
glory of Christ's kingdom, describes this rule by which 
we are to walk under the Gospel, as a hig/naay, plain, 
open, and easy to walk in ; as a; way of holiness, contain- 
ing everything necessary for making those holy who walk 
in it ; as a certain and secure way, in which even fools 
shall walk without danger of error ; and, finally, as a way 


that leads to da-iial happiness. The prophet's words are 
these : " And a path and a way shall be there, and it 
shall be called the holy way, . . . and this shall be to you 
a straight way, so that fools shall not eiT therein ; . . . 
they shall walk there that shall be delivered ; and the re- 
deemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into 
Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their 
heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow 
and mourning shall flee away," Isa. xxxv. 8. 

Q. 3. What may be drawn from these words of the 
prophet ? 

A. That the rule which Jesus Christ has left for in- 
structing us in what we are to believe and do, in order 
to be saved, has these three properties, (i.) It is easy 
and plain, fitted for all capacities. (2.) It is universal, 
and contains all revealed truth. (3.) It is certain, and 
may be securely depended upon. 

Q. 4. Was it becoming the wisdom and goodness of 
God to leave us such a rule for our guide in these things ? 

A. It was not only becoming in Him to do so, but it 
was absolutely necessary for the end He proposed. For 
how could He require of man to believe His truths and 
obey His law, under pain of damnation, if He had not 
left us some plain and certain means by which we might 
know what «;// these truths are, and what His law requires 
from us ? 

Q. 5. What is the rule of our faith left us by Jesus 
Christ ? 

A. The Christian world, as it stands at present, is di- 
vided into two great bodies in regard to this point. All, 
indeed, agree in this, that the Holy Scriptures, being dic- 
tated by the Holy Ghost, are truly the Word of God, and 
therefore are infallibly true in what they teach, both as 
to what we are to believe, and as to what we are to do in 


order to be saved. But as the Divine truths contained 
in them cannot be known without understanding the true 
sense of these sacred writings, hence the great question 
arises, How is the true sense of the Scripture to he known ? 
One of the two great bodies of Christians — to wit, Pro- 
testants — affirm that the true sense of the Scriptures may- 
be sufficiently known in all things necessary to salvation 
by every man of sound judgment who reads them with 
humility and attention ; and therefore they hold that the 
rule left by Jesus Christ to man for knowing what we are 
to believe, and what we are to do, in order to be saved, 
is the written Word alone, ititerpreted by every man of sound 
judgment. The other great body of Christians — namely. 
Catholics — affirm that the true sense of the Scriptures can- 
not be sufficiently known by any private interpretation, 
but only by the public authority of the Church; and there- 
fore they hold that the rule left us by Jesus Christ is the 
written Word, as interpreted by the Church. 

Q. 6. How shall this great question be decided ? 

A. This is indeed a very great and important question, 
on the solution of which the whole difference between 
Protestants and Catholics depends. But the decision of 
it is far from being difficult ; it is shown in a very plain 
and simple manner by comparing these two rules with 
the qualities which, as we have seen above, both Scrip- 
ture and reason prove the rule left by Jesus Christ 
must have, and seeing to which of them those qualities 
belong. Now the qualities or the properties of the rule 
left by Jesus Christ are, that it is plain and easy, cojn- 
prehensive, containing all truths, and certain, so that we 
can depend upon it. 

Q. 7. Is the written Word alone a plain and easy rule, 
fitted for all capacities ? 

A. A little attention will show that it is far from it ; 


for (i.) It is impossible it should be such to those who 
cannot read ; and yet what vast multitudes of these are 
there in the world ! To them it can be no rule at all, for 
they cannot use it. Before printing was invented, which 
was not for above thirteen hundred years after Christ, 
there were none but written books in the world, and, of 
course, very few learned to read — not one, perhaps,in some 
thousands. What must the great bulk of mankind have 
done during all that time if the wTitten Word alone be 
the only rule ? Did Jesus Christ leave a rule for know- 
ing His truths which could be used only by the learned, 
while yet He obliges all, under pain of damnation, to be- 
lieve these truths? (2.) With regard to those who can 
read, and who pretend to follow the wTitten Word alone, 
as they interpret it for themselves, we see from experi- 
ence that they never agree among themselves about the 
sense of it, but run into the most opposite and contradic- 
tory interpretations — the most convincing proof that it is 
far from being plain and easy ; nay, on the contrary, that it 
is in many things obscure and difficult. (3.) The Scrip- 
ture itself affirms, in express terms, that in the Epistles of 
St Paul there " are some things hard to be understood, 
which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also 
the other Scriptures, to their own destruction," 2 Pet. iii. 
16. In w^hich text it is declared that the Scriptures are 
" hard to be understood," and that not only the unlearned, 
but also the unstable, who presume to interpret them ac- 
cording to their own judgment, instead of finding their 
true sense, pervert and wrest them to false meanings, 
and by so doing bring destruction on themselves. Con- 
sequently, this rule of the written "Word alone is by no 
means a plain and easy rule, fitted for all capacities ; on 
the contrary, it is a most dangerous thing for any one to 
pretend to follow it, for the number of the unlearned is 


immense, and even among those who are learned, who 
can answer for his own stability? Would Jesus Christ 
ever have left such a hard and dangerous rule to poor 
mortals ? 

Q. 8. Is the written Word alone a comprehensive rule? 

A. It is very far from it : there are several things be- 
lieved and practised by all Christians, for which no 
authority is found in Scripture ; nay, which are contrary 
to the express words of Scripture ; we shall only mention 
these three : — (i.) The law of God laid down in Scrip- 
ture commands the seventh day of the week, which is 
Saturday, to be kept holy, and no manner of work to be 
done on it. There is not, in the whole Bible, one single 
text annulling that law, or dispensing with it ; and yet 
all Christians think it lawful to break that law, by work- 
ing upon the seventh day, and think it a duty to keep 
holy the first day of the week, or Sunday, in its place. 
(2.) The Scripture expressly forbids to eat blood, or 
things strangled, as a command of the Holy Ghost, Acts, 
XV. 28. And yet this law is broken every day by Christ- 
ians, without any scruple, though they have not the 
smallest authority from Scripture to do so. (3.) All 
Christians believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God, 
written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; and this 
belief is the very groundwork of religion to those who 
follow Scripture alone as their rule; yet there is not the 
smallest proof from the Scriptures themselves of their 
being so. Nay, it is simply impossible to prove from 
the Scriptures that the books therein contained were 
written by the persons whose names they bear; that these 
writers were inspired by God ; that the books, as we have 
them, are such as were written by them, without addition, 
diminution, or corruption ; or that the translations made 
of them are faithful, and agree with the originals. The 


Scriptures, then, are far from being a comprehensive rule, 
and far from containing all revealed truths, since the 
above particulars, and many others, are not to be found 
in them. 

Q. 9. Is the written Word alone a certain rule ? 

A. It fails here no less than in the two former proper- 
ties. The true sense of Scripture is, indeed, a most cer- 
tain and infallible rule ; but it is evident that those who 
interpret it by their own private judgment can have no 
certainty that the sense they put upon it is the true one ; 
for (i.) The Scripture itself declares, " that the unlearned 
and the unstable wrest it to their own destruction," 2 
Pet. iii. 16. Now, how can any man be certain that he 
is not of this number ? He may say he thinks he is right, 
but he can have no certainty. Nay, he cannot reasonably 
even think he is right ; for (2.) Those who follow their 
own interpretation as their rule, are perpetually disagree- 
ing among themselves, and giving the most contrary and 
often contradictor}^ interpretation to the same text. How, 
then, can any man among them reasonably think that the 
sense he puts upon it is right, when he sees it contra- 
dicted by numbers of others every way as well qualified 
to understand it as himself? (3.) Very often the same 
persons alter their opinion about the sense they put on 
Scripture; and what they believe to be the true sense 
to-day, they reject as false to-morrow, being continually 
carried about tuith ei'ery -wind of doctrine. Now, what 
certainty can they have for their opinion at one time 
more than another? Their very change is an evident 
acknowledgment that they were A\Tong before, though 
they were persuaded then that they were right, ^\'hat 
certainty can they have of being right now? (4.) All 
those who follow this rule have the whole weight of the 
Catholic Church against them which condemns all their 


peculiar interpretations of Scripture as false and erroneous. 
What security, then, can they have of being right, when 
such a numerous and respectable body of Christians con- 
demns them? 

Q. 10. What is the consequence of these reasonings ? 

A. That seeing the MTitten Word alone, as interpreted 
by every man's private judgment, has not 07ie of those 
qualities which the rule of our faith ought to have ; there- 
fore this cannot be the rule left us by Jesus Christ for 
teaching us the tmths revealed by Him. 

Q. II. What is the rule of faith held by Catholics? 

A. Catholics hold that Jesus Christ, well knowing that 
the dead letter of the Scriptures could never serve the 
purpose of a rule by which men could come to the 
knowledge of the truth revealed by Him, if left to every 
private person to interpret according to his own fancy, 
and that, on the contrary, such private interpretation 
must prove an unavoidable source of contentions and 
divisions among them, was therefore pleased to authorise 
the pastors of His Church to be the interpreters of His 
Word, and the depositaries of all the sacred truths He 
had revealed to the world : that He gave them power 
and commission to teach the people the truths of salva- 
tion, and requires all to receive their faith from them ; 
and, in consequence of this, they hold that the rule of 
faith ordained by Jesus Christ is the Word of God as 
interpreted by the Church — that is, by the great body of 
the pastors of His Church spread throughout the world. 

Q. 12. Is this rnlt plain and easy, and fitted for all 
capacities ? 

A. Nothing can be more plain, or more adapted to 
the infirmity of human nature. For let a person be 
ever so illiterate, and of ever so mean a capacity, if he 
have but the smallest degree of common sense, he can 


always be instructed in what is necessary for him to 
know by the living voice of his pastors, who can vary 
the manner of their instructions in every different shape, 
to adapt them to his capacity, and make him compre- 
hend them. It was by this means alone that thousands 
and thousands, in all ages, have been instructed in the 
true faith, and in the practice of all Christian duties, 
though they had never learned to read a single letter. 
It is by this means alone that thousands are daily in- 
structed in the truths of religion, who, though they have 
learned to read, have neither judgment nor capacity to 
understand what they do read ; and it is by this means 
alo7ie that all, even the most learned, have been in- 
structed in the first rudiments of religion in their infancy. 
So that this is evidently a plain easy rule, fitted for all 
capacities, and for persons of every age, condition, and 

Q,- 13. Is this rule comprehensive, so that all revealed 
truths can be learned by it ? 

A. It is; for as Jesus Christ taught all revealed truths 
to His apostles by word of mouth, so it was perfectly 
easy for them to teach their disciples everything they 
had learned from Him in the same manner. Thus, from 
generation to generation, the pastors of the Church, 
being thoroughly instructed in all revealed truths them- 
selves by those before them, can communicate the 
whole, without exception, to their people. And, in fact, 
it is by this means alone we know for certain that the 
Scriptures are the Word of God ; that the books we have 
for Scripture are genuine ; that it is laAv^ul to keep the 
first day of the week holy instead of the seventh, though 
there be no authority for doing so in the Scripture ; and 
that it is lawful to eat blood and things strangled, tliough 
contrary to the express command of the Scripture ; and, 


in general, it is by this means alone we come to know 
the true sense of Scripture, and every other point of reli- 
gion which the Avritten Word either does not or could 
not contain. 

Q. 14. Is this rule certain^ so that we may safely 
depend upon it? 

A. It is in this that the beauty and excellency of this 
rule chiefly shine forth, and show it to be the rule left us 
by Jesus Christ, and truly worthy of His Divine wisdom 
and goodness. The certainty of this rule appears chiefly 
from three considerations : (i.) From the nature of the 
rule itself; for this does not consist in the private 
opinion of a few particular persons, but in the unanimous 
doctrine of the great body of the pastors of the Church 
spread throughout the whole world. Now these pastors 
are exceedingly numerous ; they are spread throughout 
all nations, and they differ from one another in their 
country, language, manners, government, and worldly 
interests, and even in their opinions about other matters 
of knowledge and learning. When, therefore, they all 
agree in giving us the same interpretation of Scripture, 
or in declaring to us any truth of religion, is it not 
infinitely safer to follow their decision than to trust to 
our owTi private judgment in opposition to them ? Would 
not a man be a fool to prefer his own interpretation of 
the civil law of the land in opposition to the unanimous 
decision of the whole body of judges and lawyers ? Be- 
sides, in so delicate a matter as religion, in which expe- 
rience shows how jealous men commonly are of their 
own opinions, does not such unanimity evidently show 
the finger of God to be there ? What but an overruling 
Providence could keep such multitudes of men united in 
religion who so widely differ in everything else? Among 
those who do not follow this rule, we can scarcely find 


tvvo of the same opinion in every article, though of the 
same nation and language — yea, though of the same 
family; which evidently shows the uncertainty of their 
rule. How is it possible, then, that such vast multitudes, 
differing so much in all things else, should agree in every 
article of revealed truth, if the rule they follow were not 
perfectly secure ? This will appear still further if we 
consider (2.) The method they observe in declaring these 
truths ; for when the pastors of the Church declare any 
article of religion, they never give it as their own private 
opinion, or as what they believe on their own private 
judgment, but they all declare and protest that what they 
teach their people is precisely the same, without addition 
or diminution, which they received by tradition from 
their forefathers. Their predecessors, from whom they 
learned these truths, declared the same, and pledged 
their salvation for the truth of their declaration ; every 
preceding generation did the same, till we arrive at the 
apostles themselves ; assuring us, in all ages, that they 
hold it as a damnable sin to add or diminish one single 
iota of the faith once delivered to the saints. Now, it is 
manifest, that a body of people faithfully observing this 
rule of tradition can never vary, alter, or change any article 
of their religion ; and, therefore, that the faith they hold 
at present is the self-same that was held in all preceding 
ages, and first taught by Christ and His apostles. But 
what places the certainty of this rule beyond all dispute 
is — (3.) The sacred character of infallibility promised by 
Christ to His Church, and laid down in the plainest 
temis in the Holy Scriptures themselves. 

(2- 15. How does this infallibiUty of the Church ap- 
pear from Scripture ? 

A. Among the numberless passages that show this, we 
shall here consider only these following: (i.) Almighty 

VOL. I. li 


God, by the prophet Isaiah, lays down the covenant He 
makes with Jesus Christ and His church in these beau- 
tiful terms : "There shall come a Redeemer to Sion, and 
to them that return from iniquity in Jacob, saith the 
Lord. This is My covenant with them, saith the Lord. 
My Spirit that is in Thee, and My words that I have put 
in Thy mouth, shall not depart out of Thy mouth, nor out 
of the mouth of Thy seed, nor out of the mouth of Thy 
seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for 
ever," Isa. lix. 22. Here two things are promised, as a 
covenant made by God with the Redeemer, in the most 
absolute and unconditional manner : first, that the Spirit 
of the Lord should never depart from the Redeemer, nor 
from His posterity; and, secondly, that the words put 
into His mouth, and by Him revealed to His seed, should 
never depart from His mouth, nor from the mouth of His 
seed, from henceforth and for ever. The seed or posterity 
of the Redeemer are His followers, or His Church ; con- 
sequently. Almighty God here engages His most sacred 
promise that the Holy Ghost shall ever remain with the 
Church of Christ, and that the true doctrine of revealed 
truths shall never cease to be held and taught by her ; 
for they shall never " depart out of her mouth." (2.) This 
divine promise is renewed and confirmed in both its parts 
by Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospel, for, speaking to 
the pastors of His Church in the persons of the apos- 
tles, He says, " I will ask the Father, and He shall give 
you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for 
ever, the Spirit of truth," John, xiv. 16, And a little after 
He adds, " But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come. He 
shall teach you all truth," John, xvi. 13. Here we see a 
positive promise that the " Spirit of Truth " should be 
sent upon His Church, and "abide with her for ever," 
and that the office of this Spirit should be " to teach her 


all truth." Now, the first part of this promise was visibly 
accomplished on Pentecost, Avhen the Holy Ghost came 
down upon the apostles and first Christians ; it was fre- 
quently after repeated in the same visible manner upon 
the first converted Gentiles, Acts, x., and other converts. 
There can be no doubt, then, of the perfect accomplish- 
ment of the other parts of it also, that He will continue 
with the Church " for ever," and " teach her all truth." 
(3.) Jesus Christ declares "that He builds His Church 
upon a rock," and positively assures us that " the gates 
of hell shall not prevail against her," Mat. xvi. 18. 
Now, what He means by saying He builds His Church 
upon a rock He Himself explains when He says, "Who- 
soe^•er heareth these My words, and doeth them, shall 
be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a 
rock ; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the 
winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell 
not, for it was founded upon a rock," Mat. vii. 24. 
Christ, then, is the wise builder, and by building His 
Church upon a rock gives her an absolute security against 
all storms, tempests, or assaults whatever, that may be 
made to destroy her ; therefore He assures us that she 
shall never fail, never cease to be His Church, and, con- 
sequently, never be corrupted, never fall into error. In 
the other part of this text, He confirms this conclusion, 
positively declaring that " the gates of hell shall not pre- 
vail against her." 

Q. 16. What is the consequence of these reasonings ? 

A. That, seeing that the Church of Christ, teaching 
her children by the mouth of her pastors, is z plain easy 
way of instmcting them in ail the truths of religion, and 
THAT with the most perfect certainty, so that even fools can 
walk without danger of error under her direction, there- 
fore she is the rule left us by Jesus Christ, by which we are 


to know what we are to believe and what we are to do 
in order to secure our salvation ; by which also we know 
the Scriptures themselves, and the true sense of them. 

Q. 1 7. Are there any other direct proofs to show that 
the Church is this rule ? 

A. Yes ; we have also these following, among many 
others : — (i.) Because Jesus Christ did not give His 
apostles any commission to write the Gospel, but only 
to teach and preach it ; which plainly shows that His 
intention was, that preaching and teaching by the living 
voice of His pastors should be our rule, and not the dead 
letter of the Scripture. (2.) It is a certain truth that it 
was by preaching and teaching, and not by writing, that 
the world was converted unto Christianity ; that several 
of the apostles wrote nothing; and that those among 
them who did write never converted any person or 
nation by their writings, but first converted them, and 
established the faith among them by their preachings, 
and then wrote to those whom they had before converted, 
for their instruction, on some particular occasion, and 
for their consolation. (3.) Because the Scripture no- 
where sends us to the Scripture itself, as to our rule, but, 
on the contrary, it expressly declares that " no prophecy 
of Scriptures comes by private interpretation," 2 Pet. i. 
20. (4.) Because the Scripture, as we shall see by-and- 
by, sends us only to the Church and to her pastors for 
our instructions ; and obliges all, under the severest 
penalties, to submit to her doctrine in all things relating 
to religion. (5.) Because the same Scripture expressly 
assures us that the pastors of the Church were instituted 
and ordained by Jesus Christ, to bring us all to " the 
unity of the Faith," and prevent us from "being carried 
about by strange doctrines," Eph. iv. All this will appear 
more fully when we have explained the nature of tradition. 


Q. 1 8. ^Vhat is meant by tradition ? 

A. The handing down from one generation to another, 
whether by word of mouth or by writings, those truths 
revealed by Jesus Christ to His apostles, which either 
are not contained in the Holy Scriptures or at least 
are not clearly contained in them ; of which we have seen 
above several instances. 

Q. 19. ^\1lat is the principle upon which tradition pro- 
ceeds ? 

A. It is the laying down, as an invariable rule, to be 
observed in every generation, that it should firmly ad- 
here to the doctrine received from the preceding, and 
carefully commit the same to the succeeding one, A\ith- 
out addition or diminution. 

Q. 20. Was this principle of tradition established by 
the apostles ? 

A. It was most firaily established by them, and they 
used the most efficacious means to preserve it. 

Q. 21. What were these means ? 

A. We find the folloA\'ing laid down in their sacred 
writings: — (i.) They warmly exhorted the faithful, and 
strictly commanded them to stick close to the doctrine 
which they had delivered to them, and to teach the same 
inviolate to those after them. Thus, " O Timothy," says 
St Paul, "keep that which is committed to thy trust, 
avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions 
of knowledge, falsely so called, which some promising, 
have erred concerning the Faith," i Tim. vi. 20. " Hold 
the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, 
in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus. Keep 
the good things committed to thy trust by the Holy 
Ghost, Who dwelleth in us," 2 Tim. i. 13; "And the 
things which thou hast heard of me before many witnesses, 
the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to 


teach others also," 2 Tim. ii 2. " Continue thou in those 
things which thou hast learned, and which have been 
committed to thee, knowing of whom thou hast learned 
them," 2 Tim. iii. 14. Such are the injunctions which 
he laid upon the pastors of the Church in the person of 
his disciple Timothy. And to show that the bishops, or 
chief pastors, are particularly charged with the obligation 
of adhering to the doctrine delivered to them from the 
apostles, when relating to Titus the qualities of these 
chief pastors, among others, he says that a bishop ought 
to " embrace that faithful Word which is according to 
doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, 
and convince the gainsayers, — who must be reproved, 
who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they 
ought not for filthy lucre's sake," Tit. i. 9 ; where we see 
the strict charge laid upon the pastors, both to adhere to 
the true doctrine themselves, and to defend it against 
seducers. The same injunction of adhering to the doc- 
trine they had received, by tradition, from the apostles, 
he lays upon all the faithful in these words : " Therefore, 
brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you 
have learned, whether by word or by our epistle," 2 Thess. 
ii. 14. St Jude also writes his epistle expressly to enforce 
this duty, and says, " I was under a necessity to write to 
you, to beseech you to contend earnestly for the Faith 
once delivered to the saints," Jude, ver. 3. Such strong 
and repeated injunctions laid upon all, and especially 
upon the pastors of the Church, who are appointed by 
Jesus Christ to be the guardians and teachers of the Faith, 
could not fail to make the deepest impression upon their 
minds, and have in all ages been considered as the great 
rule of their conduct in preserving the true doctrine 

(2.) Not content with laying such strict commands 


upon the faithful to adhere firmly to the old doctrine 
handed down from the beginning, they also warn them 
against all broachers of new doctrine, describe their 
manners, foretell their reprobation and damnation, and 
command the faithful to avoid them. St Paul writes to 
Timothy : " Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the 
last times some shall depart from the Faith, giving heed 
to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in 
hypocrisy, and having their consciences seared," i Tim. 
iv. I. What an impression must this description make 
upon the minds of all serious Christians ! what a horror 
must it raise in them against all innovations ! " Know 
this also," says the same apostle, " that in the last days 
shall come on dangerous times ; for men shall be lovers 
of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, — ■ 
lovers of pleasure more than of God ; having an appear- 
ance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof: 
now these avoid, for of this sort are they — who resist the 
truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the 
Faith," 2 Tim. iii. i. St Peter also is very strong upon 
this head, when he says, "There shall be among you 
lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition" 
{lianijiable heresies, as the Protestant translation has it) — 
"bringing upon themselves swift destruction — whose judg- 
ment now of a long time lingereth not, and their destioic- 
tion slumbereth not," 2 Pet. ii. i. St Paul also to the 
Romans saith, " Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark 
them who cause dissensions and offences, contrary to 
the doctrine which you have learned, and to avoid them ; 
for they that are such serve not Christ our Lord, but their 
own belly," Rom. xvi. 17 ; and in his epistle to Titus he 
says, " A man that is a heretic, after the first and second 
admonition, avoid ; knowing that he that is such an one 
is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own 


judgment," Tit. iii. lo. Again, to Timothy he saith, "If 
any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound 
words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which 
is according to godhness, he is proud, knowing nothing, 
but sick about questions and strifes of words, . . . cor- 
rupted in mind, and destitute of the truth," i Tim. vi. 3. 
St John also speaks to the same purpose, saying " Who- 
soever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of 
Christ, hath not God. ... If any man come to you, and 
bring not this doctrine, receive him not into thy house, 
and say not to him, God speed you ; for he that saith 
to him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked 
works," 2 John, 9. Could anything more efficacious 
have been uttered than these oracles of the Holy Ghost, 
to excite in the hearts of the faithful the strongest aversion 
to the very smallest deviation from the doctrine they had 
received? Could anything more firmly establish the 
sacred principle of tradition ? 

(3.) But to fix this principle upon the most solid 
footing, besides what is above, these sacred writers pro- 
nounce a dreadful curse upon, and deliver over to Satan, 
all those who shall dare to alter or corrupt the Faith once 
delivered to the saints, though but in one single article. 
Thus when some false brethren, in St Paul's absence, had 
persuaded the Galatians that it was necessary to unite 
circumcision with the Gospel, he wrote his epistle to them, 
on purpose to correct this delusion ; and though it was 
but an error in one point, and that in everything else 
they adhered to his doctrine, yet he calls it a " removing 
from the grace of Christ, . . . and a perverting the 
Gospel of Christ," Gal. i. 6, 7. And then he adds, " But 
though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a Gospel to 
you, besides that which we have preached to you, let him 
be accursed ; as we said before, so I say now again, If 


any one preach to you a Gospel besides that which you 
have received, let him be accursed," Gal. i. 8. So also 
he mentions two heretics of his own time, who erred only 
in one point, and says, " Their speech spreadeth like a 
canker, of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus, who have 
erred from the truth, saying that the resurrection is past 
already, and have subverted the faith of some," 2 Tim. ii. 
17. But he had told his disciples before in what manner 
he had dealt Anth Hymeneus and Alexander, who "had 
made shipwreck of their faith ; whom," says he, " I have 
delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme," 
I Tim. i. 20. Nothing surely could more effectually 
imprint in the minds of the faithful the firmest attachment 
to the truths of the Gospel than this judgment of the 
apostle, or more excite their attention and solicitude to 
preserve these sacred truths whole and undefiled, and 
to deliver them entire and uncorrupted to their posterity. 

Q. 22. All this is exceedingly strong indeed; but how 
can it be applied to show the preservation of the truths 
revealed by Jesus Christ throughout all ages ? 

A. It is manifest, from these Scripture oracles, that 
the great principle or rule of tradition was laid down and 
established by God Himself at the beginning, and that it 
was delivered by the apostles to their disciples, along 
■with the other truths of the Gospel, as the fence and safe- 
guard ordained by God for the preservation of the Faith 
throughout all generations ; and it is no less evident that 
as long as this rule is faithfully observed, any change in 
the faith is absolutely impossible. For if the Christians 
of the second age believed nothing as revealed truth but 
what they had received from their predecessors of the first 
age, then it is manifest that the faith of the first and 
second age was exactly the same. And if those of the 
second age delivered the sacred deposit entire and 


unchanged to their successors, then their faith can have 
differed in nothing from that of the two preceding ages. 
The same may be said of every succeeding age to the 
present time, and even to the end of the world. 

Q. 23. Is it certain that the Church always adhered to 
this rule of tradition, and never deviated from it ? 

A. Nothing can be more certain, for several reasons, 
(i.) Because the Church, in the apostolic age, most cer- 
tainly adhered to it, as all the above testimonies of Scrip- 
ture show. In every succeeding age she professed her 
constant adherence to it, as the acts of her councils and 
the writings of the holy Fathers in every age declare ; 
and at the present time she openly avows the same, pro- 
testing that she received this rule, along with the other 
truths of Christianity, from those before her, as handed 
down to them from the preceding generations ; therefore 
she has never, in any age, deviated from it. (2.) Be- 
cause this rule, as we have seen, is so strongly, so fre- 
quently, and under such dreadful penalties, inculcated in 
the Holy Scriptures, that it is morally impossible the 
whole Christian world should, in any age, renounce it, 
unless we suppose the whole world at once renouncing all 
concern for their salvation. (3.) Because no deviation 
from this rule could be introduced by degrees ; for the 
first that should begin to teach such a deviation would 
immediately be condemned by all those adhering to it. 
(4.) Because by this rule alone the Church ever con- 
demned all who broached new doctrines, as is manifest 
from her councils and the writings of Christians in 
every age, some of whom, as St Vincent of Lerins and 
Tertullian, wrote entire books on this very subject, as the 
shortest and easiest means of confuting all novelties in 
doctrine. (5.) Because it is manifest from the writings 
of Christians in every age since the apostles, that the 


doctrine of Faith has ever been uniformly the same in 
the CathoHc Church ; and that those revealed truths 
which the apostles delivered by word of mouth only, as 
well as the true sense of their sacred writings themselves, 
have been handed down throughout every age, not only 
by the constant teaching of the pastors, but also by the 
^\Titings of many of her members who were eminent for 
their sanctity, and distinguished by their learning. 
Which evidently shows that she has never de\iated from 
this rule ; and that by adhering to it, the sacred " words of 
God, once put into her mouth, have never departed from 
her," as God, in His covenant with her, had expressly 
promised by the prophet Isaiah, chap. lix. 21. 

Q. 24. Can it be evidently proved that the Church 
never altered or corrupted any of the truths revealed to 
her at the beginning ? 

A. We observed in the last question. No. 5, that this 
is manifest from the writings of Christians, in all preced- 
ing ages, and in all the different nations of the world ; in 
which writings we uniformly find the same sacred truths 
taught, explained, and inculcated, which the Church 
teaches at this day. It also follows as a necessary con- 
sequence from the principle of changing nothing, neither 
adding to nor taking from the sacred body of Divine 
truths, but delivering the same inviolate to every genera- 
tion, for it is evident that a Church which constantly 
adheres to this rule can never change her faith. Be- 
sides, as her attachment to this principle and practice is 
itself one of the very points delivered by tradition, it is 
evident that a Church professing to believe and follow 
this principle must have strictly observed it, and must 
always have maintained the same faith. Add to this the 
number of persons interested in the preservation of this 
rule, spread from the beginning through all nations, and 


differing from each other in everything but rehgion. Add 
also how tenacious men commonly are of their religion, 
especially those who hold it as an article of their faith 
itself that not one iota of it may be changed. Join to all 
this how vigilant and careful the Church has ever been to 
oppose the slightest attempt to alter or corrupt her doc- 
trine, and it will easily appear how impossible it is that 
she should ever change one point of revealed truth. And 
if we also consider the promised assistance of the Holy 
Ghost, to teach her all truth and abide with her for ever, 
the matter is put beyond the possibility of doubt. 

Q. 25. In what does this promised assistance of the 
Holy Ghost properly consist ? To what does it extend ? 

A. To understand this, we must obser\-e that Jesus 
Christ revealed to His apostles, by word of mouth, all those 
Divine truths, both regarding faith and morals, which God 
was pleased to communicate to man. This He Himself 
declares when He said, " But I have called you friends ; 
because all things whatsoever I have heard of My Father 
I have made known to you," John, xv. 15. Now these 
truths the apostles taught to the world, partly in their ■\\Tit- 
ings and partly byword of mouth; but as both are equally 
the Word of God, and revealed by Him, therefore both are 
equally to be received and believed. " Therefore, breth- 
ren," says St Paul, " stand fast, and hold the traditions 
which you have learned, whether by word or by epistle," 2 
Thess. ii. 14. In these sacred traditions, both written and 
umvritten, some things are not so clearly and explicitly 
expressed as others. There are many, as the Scripture 
itself says, "hard to be understood;" and there are also 
others, essentially connected with what is there expressed, 
which are not mentioned there at all ; but which, never- 
theless, are implicitly revealed by God, in those with 
which they are necessarily connected. When, therefore, 


a difficulty arises on any point of doctrine, the Church 
immediately has recourse to revelation, contained in the 
written and unwritten Word, in Scripture and tradition, 
and examines the point in question by this sacred rule ; 
in doing which, she is so effectually assisted by the Spirit 
of God, as infallibly to discover whether or not the point 
in question be contained in, connected with, or conform- 
able to, revelation. If it be, she adopts it as a sound 
doctrine ; and if not, she condemns it as false and erron- 
eous. So that the Church never proposes to her chil- 
dren any new article of faith, but only brings to light 
and unfolds the truths originally revealed by Jesus Christ ; 
but which, till her declaration, had been obscurely or 
ambiguously contained in Scripture and tradition ; and 
this is the principal thing in which the Holy Ghost gives 
her His infallible assistance. All this is manifest from 
our Saviour's own declaration, " He had made known to 
His apostles all things whatsoever He had heard of His 
Father;" but many of those things were little understood 
by them, and many were so delivered that they could 
not understand them — at least, as to the full extent of 
what His words meant. To remedy this. He promises 
to send them the Holy Ghost, and shows what His office 
would be, in these words : " But the Paraclete, the Holy 
Ghost, whom the Father will send in I\Iy Name, He will 
teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, 
whatsoever I shall have said to you," John, xiv. 26. And 
again, " I have yet many things to say to you : but you 
cannot bear them now ; — but when He, the Spirit of 
truth, is come. He will teach you all tmth," John, xvi. 12. 
This then is the office of the Holy Ghost ; and as Christ 
declared that He "would abide with His Church for 
ever," this office He continually performs, teaching the 
pastors of the Church all truth, and bringing to their 


mind, as occasion may require, all those things contained 
in the revelation which Christ made at the beginning to 
His apostles. 

Q. 26. What conclusion follows from all this? 

A. From this we see still more fully the perfect secu- 
rity we have in relying upon the authority of the Church, 
as the guide which Jesus Christ has ordained to conduct 
us in the way of salvation, and by which alone we can come 
to the certain knowledge of all those Divine truths which 
He has revealed, whether with regard to faith or morals. 

Q. 27. Is it therefore necessary for the Christian people 
to be well instructed in what our holy Faith teaches con- 
cerning the Church ? 

A. The knowledge of the Church is certainly one of 
the most necessary points of the Christian religion, be- 
cause the Church is the very foundation of all the rest, 
being the sacred rule appointed by Jesus Christ by which 
we come to the knowledge of all the truths of revelation, 
even of the Scriptures themselves, and of the true sense 
and interpretation of them ; the Church is the organ of 
God, by which He speaks to His people, and discovers 
to them the great truths of eternity ; and the true doctrine 
concerning the Church being once properly established, 
an end is put to all uncertainty, doubt, and controversy 
on religion. Hence we find that, in the Apostles' Creed, 
after professing our belief in the ever-blessed Trinity, the 
Incarnation, and other mysteries of our redemption, the 
article which follows is that of the Holy Catholic Churcli 
as next in importance and as firmly to be believed as the 
sacred truths of the Trinity and Incarnation ; it stands 
upon the same ground with them, the Divine revelation ; 
and is the sacred channel by which the revelation of those 
Divine truths is conveyed to us. 

Q. 28. Is this article of the Creed, T/ie Holy Catholic 


Church, a proof of the continual existence of the Church 
upon earth? 

A. It is certainly a most convincing proof both of the 
continuance of the Church of Christ and of all those 
sacred prerogatives with which her Divine Spouse has 
adorned her. For the Apostles' Creed is universally 
admitted, by Christians of all denominations, to contain 
the fundamental articles of the Christian religion, as 
revealed by Jesus Christ to His apostles, consequently 
all the articles of the Creed are Divine truths, and, as 
the Church of England teaches in her thirty-nine articles, 
ought thoroughly to be received and believed, for they 
may be proved by 7nost certain warrants of Holy Scripture, 
Art. VIII. ; therefore they niust be true at all times and 
in all places. Consequently, as it was a Divine revealed 
truth, when the Creed was made by the apostles, that 
Christ had then a Holy Catholic Church upon earth, so 
it is no less a Divine truth that He has a Holy Catholic 
Church upon earth at present, that He has had such a 
Church ever since the Creed was made, and will have to 
the end of the world. And as this Church never could 
cease to be the true Church of Christ, so never could 
she cease to be what Christ at first made her, nor fail in 
any of those sacred prerogatives with which Christ at 
first adorned her; consequently she is always Holy, 
always Catholic, always a visible body, consisting of 
pastors teaching and people taught by them — always 
one, always apostolical, always infallible in Avhat she 
teaches, for these, as we have seen in part, and shall see 
more fully by-and-by, are the sacred prerogatives which 
He bestowed upon her. For if ever she lost any of 
these, she could no longer be the Church of Christ, and 
then that article of the Creed would be false, which it 
were blasphemy to suppose. 




Q. I. T T /"HAT is the Church of Christ? 

V V A. It is the congregation or society of 
all the true followers of Jesus Christ throughout the 
whole world united together in one body, under one 
headj for "we, being many," says St Paul, "are one 
body in Christ, and every one members one of another," 
Rom. xii. 5. "And there shall be one fold and one 
Shepherd," John, x. 16. 

Q. 2. In what are all the members of the Church 
united together, so as to compose otie body m Christ? 

A. Chiefly in these three things : (i.) In one and the 
same Faith, believing and teaching all those Divine 
truths which Jesus Christ revealed and His apostles 
taught, and no other ; for there is but " one Lord, one 
Faith, one Baptism," Eph. iv. 5 ; and of the Church, in 
the time of the apostles, it is said that " they were per- 
severing in the doctrine of the apostles," Acts, ii. 42. 
(2.) In the participation of those Sacraments which Jesus 
Christ ordained for the sanctification of our souls ; thus 
St Paul, speaking of the Sacrament of Baptism, says, " In 
one Spirit were we all baptised into one body," i Cor. 
xii. 13; and of the Holy Eucharist he says, "Because 
the bread is one, all we, being many, are one body, who 


partake of that one bread," i Cor. x. 17. (3.) In being 
all governed by one head, and by pastors under him, 
ordained and authorised by Jesus Christ ; for He Him- 
self declares, that all who belong to Him " shall be 
one fold, and one Shepherd," John, x. 16, And St Paul 
assures us that all the different orders of pastors, apostles, 
evangelists, and teachers, were ordained by Jesus Christ 
Himself, "for edifying the body of Christ," Eph. iv. 12 — 
that is, for building up and preserving the Church in one 

Q. 3. Of whom is the Church composed ? 
A. Of pastors teaching, and of the people who are 

Q. 4. "WTio are the pastors of the Church ? 
A. The successors of the apostles, ordained and 
authorised by Jesus Christ to teach the people the truths 
of salvation, and to rule the Church. 

Q. 5. How do you prove that Jesus Christ authorised 
the pastors to teach the people ? 

A. From His own commission to them, laid down in 
several places of the Holy Scripture, as follows : (i.) 
He declares that He Himself 2uas sent by God His 
Father to preach the Gospel, Luke, iv. 18; and He 
says to His apostles, "As My Father hath sent Me, I 
also send you," John, xx. 21. (2.) He revealed to His 
apostles all Divine truths : " All things," says He to 
them, " whatsoever I have heard of My Father, I have 
made known unto you," John, xv. 15. And before He 
left the world He gave them commission to teach the 
same to all nations ; " Go ye," says He, "unto the whole 
world, and preach the Gospel to every creature," Mark, 
xvi. 1 5 ; and again, " Go ye therefore and teach all 
nations, . . . teaching them to observe all things what- 
soever I have commanded you," Mat. xxviii. 1 9. 

VOL. I. M 


Q. 6. Was this commission of teaching to continue 
with the successors of the apostles ? 

A. Most certainly it was ; for (i.) When Christ gave 
the apostles the commission " to teach all nations," He 
immediately added, " And behold ' I am with you all 
days, even to the consummation of the world," Mat. 
xxviii. 20. Now, as the apostles neither did nor could 
teach all nations in their own persons, nor were to con- 
tinue upon earth till the end of the world, it is manifest 
that this commission was not confined to their persons, 
but given to their ofhce — that is, to them and their suc- 
cessors in office, who should continue to the end of the 
world, and complete the work of teaching all nations, 
which the apostles began. (2.) St Paul was not one of 
those to whom the above commission was given person- 
ally, and yet he declares of himself, " I am appointed a 
preacher and an apostle (I say the truth, I lie not), a 
doctor of the Gentiles, in faith and truth," Tim. ii. 7 ; and 
" that Christ sent him to preach the Gospel," i Cor. i. 
17- (3-) St Timothy was ordained by St Paul to be a 
pastor of the Church, and a successor of the apostles, 
and St Paul conjures him faithfully to discharge this duty 
of teaching : " I charge thee before God and Jesus 
Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His 
coming and His kingdom, preach the word ; be instant 
in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke, with all 
patience and doctrine," 2 Tim. iv. r. (4.) He also 
orders the same Timothy to appoint others to succeed 
him in the same ofiice of teaching : " The things," says 
he, " which thou hast heard of me, before many witnesses, 
the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to 
teach others also," 2 Tim. ii. 2. 

Q. 7. In what light do the Scriptures represent to us 
the pastors of the Church ? 


A. (i.) As the ambassadors of Christ, sent by Him to 
declare to us His will, and reconcile us with God. " For 
Christ, therefore," says St Paul, "we are ambassadors, 
God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ we beseech 
you, be reconciled to God,"' 2 Cor. v. 20. (2.) As the 
organs of Christ by whom He speaks to us, " He that 
hears you," says Christ, " hears Me, and he that despises 
you despises Me," Luke, x. 16. (3.) As the angels of 
God, from whom we are to know His law ; for, " the 
lips of the priest shall keep knowledge, and they shall 
seek the law at his mouth, because he is the angel of 
the Lord of hosts," Mai. ii. 7. " I preached the Gospel 
to you heretofore," says St Paul, " and you received me 
as the Angel of God, even as Christ Jesus," Gal. iv. 13. 
Great, indeed, is this dignity; but woe to those priests 
who disgrace it by their conduct ! 

Q. 8. Are we obliged to hear the pastors of the 
Church, and to receive the doctrine of our Faith from 
them ? 

A. Nothing is more strongly commanded, or more 
clearly expressed in Scripture, than this obligation ; for — 
(i.) The pastors are expressly authorised by Christ to 
teach us ; consequently, we are obliged to be taught by 
them. (2.) They are instituted by Jesus Christ, to pre- 
serve us all in the unity of the Faith ; consequently we 
are obliged to receive our Faith from them. (3.) When 
Christ gave the commission of teaching to the pastors of 
His Church, He immediately adds, " He that believeth 
and is baptised shall be saved, but he that believeth not 
shall be condemned," Mark, xvi. 16; consequently, Ave 
are obliged by Jesus Christ Himself to believe what the 
pastors of His Church teach, under pain of damnation. 
(4.) He further declares to the pastors of His Church, 
" He that hears you hears Me, and he that despises you 


despises Me, and he that despises Me despises Him that 
sent Me," Luke, x. i6. (5.) He condemns those that 
" will not hear His Church as heathens and publicans," 
Mat. xviii. 17 — that is, as " worshippers of the devil," for 
such were the heathens ; and " as people abandoned by- 
God," and given up " to a reprobate sense," for such the 
publicans were reputed among the Jews. (6.) The Holy 
Ghost gives the same command to all by the mouth of 
St Paul : " Remember your prelates, who have spoken 
the Word of God to you, whose faith follow . . . and 
be not led away by various and strange doctrines," Heb. 
xiii. 7, 9. (7.) St John, speaking of himself and the 
other pastors in his time, gives our submission to them 
as the sign to distinguish the Spirit of truth from the 
Spirit of error, and of our belonging to God : " We are 
of God," says he; "he that knoweth God heareth us, he 
that is not of God heareth us not ; in this we know the 
Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error," i John, iv. 6. 

Q. 9. What are we to think of any doctrine which is 
contrary to what the Church teaches ? 

A. As, by w'hat we have seen above, we are undoubt- 
edly assured that Jesus Christ will never permit His 
Church to fall into error or teach false doctrine, but will 
continue to preserve the sacred truths which He revealed 
to her, and put into her mouth, at the beginning, un- 
changed and uncorrupted to the end of the world ; so it 
is evident that the doctrine which the Church teaches is 
infallibly true; consequently, any doctrine which is con- 
trary to this must necessarily be a false doctmie; and, if 
false, it cannot be from God, for God is truth, and cannot 
deny Himself, by speaking contrary to the truth. 

Q. 10. From whom, then, does all false doctrine 
come ? 

A. Our blessed Saviour says to the Jews who opposed 


His doctrine, "You are of your father the devil. . . . 
He abode not in the truth, because truth is not in him ; 
... for he is a Har, and the father thereof," John, viii. 
44. St Paul also assures us that " in the last times some 
shall depart from the Faith, giving heed to spirits of 
error, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy," 
I Tim. iv. I ; and St James says, " Be not liars against 
the truth ; for this is not wisdom descending from above, 
but earthly, sensual, devilish," James, iii. 14, 15. 

Q. IX. What other powers belong to the pastors of the 
Church besides that of teaching ? 

A. They are also commissioned and authorised by 
Jesus Christ to rule and govern the Church, and have 
received from Him all the spiritual powers of the priest- 
hood for this purpose. 

Q. 12. How is it proved that the pastors are author- 
ised by Jesus Christ to rule the Church ? 

A. From the words of St Paul, who, speaking to the 
chief pastors of the Church at Ephesus, says, " Take 
heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the 
Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops to rule the Church 
of God, which He hath purchased with His own Blood," 
Acts, XX. 28. 

Q. 13. What does this power of ruling the Church 
comprehend ? 

A. It includes the whole of their authority, and is de- 
scribed by St Paul, Eph. iv. 12, under three heads. For 
He declares that the different order of pastors were insti- 
tuted by Jesus Christ : (i.) " For the perfecting the saints" 
— that is, for conducting souls in the road of Christian 
perfection, by prescribing such rules to them and giving 
them such advice as is necessary or conducive to that 
end. (2.) " For the work of the ministry" — that is, for 
the preaching of the Word and the administration of the 


Sacraments. (3.) " For the edifying of the body of 
Christ " — that is, for regulating the externals of religion, 
by prescribing such rules and ordinances as they judge 
necessary for the decorous performance of all the out- 
ward service of the Church, for preventing or punishing 
all scandals, and for keeping the Christian people in 
virtuous discipline ; so that everything may contribute to 
give edification to the whole body, and to promote the 
honour of God in His Church. 

Q. 14. For what end did Christ give such powers to 
the pastors of the Church ? 

A. St Paul goes on, in the same place, to tell us that 
all this was done by Christ: (i.) To bring "all to the 
unity of the faith;" (2.) To enable us all "to become 
perfect men;" and, (3.) " To prevent us being tossed to 
and fro like children, and carried about with every wind 
of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning crafti- 
ness, by which they lie in wait to deceive," Eph. iv. 13, 


Q. 15. Are the people obliged in conscience to obey 

the commands of the pastors of the Church in things 
concerning religion, and subjected to their authority? 

A. Most certainly they are ; for St Paul says expressly, 
" Let every soul be subject to higher powers ; for there 
is no power but from God, and those that are, are or- 
dained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the poAver 
resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist 
purchase to themselves damnation," Rom. xiii. i. Now 
if this be the case with all lawful powers, though they 
be immediately of human institution, and may be changed 
and altered by man, both as to their form and the extent 
of their authority, how much more must it be with regard 
to the pastors of Christ's Church, whose power is imme- 
diately from Christ Himself, instituted expressly by Him, 


and which can be altered by no other whatsoever? 
Hence, (2.) Jesus Christ Himself says to the pastors of 
His Church, in the persons of His apostles, " He that 
hears you hears Me, and he that despises you despises 
Me," Luke, x. 16. (3.) He declares the greatness of 
the sin of disobeying His Church in these strong terms : 
" He that will not hear the Church, let him be to thee 
as a heathen and a publican," Mat. xviii. 17. (4.) St 
Paul "went through Syria and Cilicia, confimiing the 
churches ; " and the means he used to confirm them 
was by ''commanding them to keep the precepts of the 
apostles and the ancients," Acts, xv. 41. Hence, (5.) He 
expressly requires this obedience and subjection to our 
pastors, when he says, " Obey your prelates, and be sub- 
ject to them, for they watch as being to render an account 
of your souls," Heb. xiii. 17. 

Q. 16. Who is the Chief Pastor, or Head of the 
Church ? 

A. Jesus Christ is the invisible supreme Head of the 
Church ; for God " hath put all things under His feet, 
and hath made Him Head over all the Church, which is 
His body," Eph. i. 22 ; and therefore He assures us that 
He is " with her all days, even to the consummation of 
the world ; " and that He animates her by His Holy 
Spirit, " the Spirit of truth, Who abides with her for ever;" 
and by this means He communicates to her and to all her 
members the heavenly influence of grace and charity, to 
preserve them in life, and enable them to bring forth 
fruit, as the vine communicates nourishment to the 
branches, John, xv. ; for " the charity of God is poured 
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, \\\\o is given 
to us," Rom. V. 5. But though Christ be thus the in- 
visible Head of the Church Himself, yet He has also 
been pleased to appoint another under Him to be His 


vicegerent upon earth, the Chief Pastor among men, and 
the visible Head of His Church. 

Q. 17. Whom did Christ appoint for this high office? 

A. St Peter the apostle, and his successors after him. 

Q. 18. How does it appear from Scripture that Christ 
made St Peter visible head of the Church? 

A. From the following testimonies, among many 
others: (i.) Christ gave him the name of Peter, which 
signifies a Rock; and declared, that upon him, as "a rock, 
he would build His Church;" Mat. xvi. 18. (2.) Christ 
gave to him in particular, and to none of the other apos- 
tles, "the key of the kingdom of heaven," Mat. xvi. 19. 
Now, the power of the keys is the emblem of supreme 
power and authority, according to the prophet, " I will 
lay the key of the house of David upon His shoulders, 
and He shall open, and none shall shut ; and He shall 
shut, and none shall open," Isa. xxii. 22. This was pro- 
phesied of Christ Himself, Who also says on this subject, 
" Thus saith the Holy One, and the True One, He that the key of David ; He that openeth, and no man 
shutteth ; shutteth, and no man openeth," Rev. iii. 7 ; 
consequently, by saying to St Peter, "To thee I will give 
the keys of the kingdom of heaven," He manifestly com- 
municates to him this supreme power, as to His vicegerent 
upon earth. (3.) After His resurrection He gave him 
the formal commission to feed His whole flock in these 
express words, "Feed My lambs; feed My sheep," John, 
xxi. ; by which He constituted him the Chief Pastor of 
His fold, of which He had said before, " There shall be 
one fold and one Shepherd," John, x. 1 6. (4.) When Satan 
sought to have the apostles in his power, " that he 
might sift them as wheat," Christ prayed only for St 
Peter, " that his faith should not fail," and left him as 
head of the whole, " to confirm his brethren," Luke, xxii. 


31. (5.) In the lists of the apostles given in the Gospel, St 
Peter is always named first in order, and the others are 
named sometimes in one order, sometimes in another ; 
yet it is certain St Peter was not first called to Christ, for 
his brother Andrew was called before him, and introduced 
him to Christ. (6.) St Matthew, St Mark, and St Luke, 
in their lists of the apostles, take particular notice of the 
name of Peter, which Christ gave him, for his own name 
was Simon, which indicates the particular privilege an- 
nexed to that name ; and therefore St Matthew expressly 
calls him theyfrj-/. (7.) St Peter acted in this supreme 
capacity as Head of the Church, both when he called the 
brethren to deliberate about choosing one in the place of 
Judas, Acts i., and also when he gave the definitive sen- 
tence in the council of Jerusalem, after " there had been 
much disputing," Acts, xv. 7 ; but when he had spoken, 
all "the multitude held their peace," verse 12, and sub- 
mitted to his decision, as did also St James, who assented 
to and confirmed what he had said. (8.) The Christian 
writers and holy fathers in every age have always attested 
it as a truth revealed by God, that Jesus Christ did con- 
stitute St Peter prince of the apostles, and visible Head 
of His Church. (9.) It is an undoubted fact that his 
successors have always claimed this supreme authority, 
and have exercised it throughout the whole Church, as 
occasion required, in every age, from the very beginning. 
Now, considering the nature of man, it is evidently im- 
possible that any one bishop of the Church should have 
acquired such authority ever all the others even in the 
most different nations and the most distant kingdoms, 
or that he could have exercised it everywhere among 
them, if it had not been given him from the beginning, 
and ordained by Jesus Christ. 


Q. 19. Why did Christ institute one visible Head of 
His Church upon earth ? 

A. Because, as the Church is a visible body, or society 
of men, it was most becoming they should have a visible 
supreme Head among them, like to the members of 
whom the body is composed. Besides, as the Church 
was ordained to be spread over all nations, differing from 
one another in language, customs, government, and every- 
thing but religion, it would have been morally impossible 
to have kept them all united in one body, if there had 
not been one common visible Head or supreme authority 
among them, to which all must submit. So that this 
Head of the Church is the centre of unity, by which the 
Church of Christ, throughout the whole world, is united 
in one body. 

Q. 20. Who are the successors of St Peter as head of 
the Church ? 

A. The Bishops of the city of Rome, of which St Peter 
was the first Bishop, and suffered martyrdom in that city 
for the Faith of Christ, leaving his successors there the 
heirs of all his power and authority. 

Q. 21. Wherein consists the power of the Bishop of 
Rome, as Head of the Church ? 

A. As he is appointed by Jesus Christ to be the 
supreme Head and Pastor of the Church under Him, to 
be the spiritual Father and Teacher of all Christians, with 
full power to feed and govern the whole flock, therefore 
he is the supreme judge and lawgiver, in all things re- 
lating to religion, whether as to faith, morals, or disci- 
pline. The primacy, both of honour and jurisdiction, 
over all the other bishops, belongs to him ; and all the 
members of the Church are obliged to pay the greatest 
respect, veneration, and obedience to his decrees and 
orders in all things belonging to religion. 


Q. 2 2. How is the Head of the Church commonly 
called ? 

A. He is called the Pope, which word signifies Father^ 
and is given to the Head of the Church ; because, being 
the Vicar of Jesus Christ, he is the common spiritual 
Father of all Christians. 

Q. 23. As the power of teaching resides in the pastors 
of the Church, does the infallibility of the Church, pre- 
serving the true doctrine, reside only in them ? 

A. The promises of infallibility, in preserving the true 
doctrine of Jesus Christ, are of two sorts. Some are 
made to the Church in general, such as these, " I will 
build My Church upon a rock, and the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against her. My words which I have 
put in His (the Redeemer^ s) mouth shall not depart out of 
His mouth, nor out of the mouth of His seed, from 
henceforth and for ever." " The Church is the pillar 
and ground of truth." By these promises infallibility is 
secured to the whole Church, pastors and people; so 
that they shall never cease to believe and profess the 
true Faith of Jesus Christ. But whereas the people are 
commanded to receive the Faith from their pastors, and 
to believe what they teach, so that the Faith of the 
people depends upon the teaching of the pastors, there- 
fore the second class of promises are made to the pastors 
in particular ; for to the pastors, in the persons of the 
apostles, our Saviour said, " Behold, I am with you all 
days, even to the consummation of the world ; " " The 
Father will send you the Spirit of tmth, to abide with 
you for ever, and teach you all truth." By which both 
pastors and people are assured that Jesus Christ and 
His Holy Spirit will always remain with the pastors of 
His Church, and so assist them, by the continual pro- 
tection of His overruling providence, in the great work 


of teaching the people, that they shall never alter nor 
corrupt the true doctrine of Christ, but teach it whole 
and undefiled, to the end of time. 

Q. 24. In whom then does the infallibility properly 

reside ? 

A. In the body of the pastors, joined with their head. 
Q. 25. -How so? 

A. In either of these two ways: (i.) When the pastors 
of the Church are called together by the Chief Pastor, in 
a general council, to decide anything about religion, 
Avhether regarding faith or morals, they are then infalli- 
ble in their decisions, and their decrees are considered 
as dictated by the Holy Ghost, according to the example 
of the aposdes, in their council at Jerusalem, who begin 
their decrees with these words, " It hath seemed good 
to the Holy Ghost and to us," Acts, xv. (2.) When the 
Head of the Church, without calling together the other 
pastors, publishes any decree concerning faith or morals, 
and this decree is accepted and received by the body of 
the pastors, either expressly or tacitly, it then becomes a 
decree of the whole Church, and of the same infallible 
authority as if it had been made in a general council. 

Q. 26. When the Head of the Church publishes any 
decree concerning faith or morals, to which he requires 
submission from all the faithful, is he himself infallible in 
what he there teaches ? 

A. This is not proposed as an article of Divine faith, 
nor has the Church ever made any decision concerning 
it.* Great numbers of the most learned divines are of 
opinion, that in such a case the Head of the Church is 
infallible in what he teaches ; but there are others of a 
contrary opinion, who think that his decree is not to be 
considered as infallibly certain, till the body of the bishops 

* See Appendix B. 


receive it, either by their express approbation, or their 
tacit submission when it becomes a decree of the whole 
Church, whose infalHbihty is undoubted. 

Q. 27. On what grounds do those divines found their 
opinion, who beheve that the Pope himself, w^hen he 
speaks to all the faithful as Head of the Church, is in- 
fallible in what he teaches ? 

A. On several very strong reasons, both from Scrip- 
ture, tradition, and reason. 

Q. 28. What proofs do they bring from Scripture? 

A. These following : (i.) Because this privilege of the 
particular direction and assistance of God in teaching 
true doctrine was given to the High Priest in the old 
law ; and the synagogue being only a figure of the law of 
grace, and of the Church of Christ, the same privilege 
must certainly be given to the High Priest of the Church 
also ; otherwise the type would have been more perfect 
than the reality, the shadow more privileged than the 
substance. Now that the High Priests were so privi- 
leged in the old law appears from this, that in all their 
disputes or doubts about religion the people were referred 
to them as the supreme judges, with the assurance that 
they would declare to the people the truth of the judg- 
ment, and with the corresponding obligation " to do 
whatsoever they shall say that preside in the place 
which the Lord shall choose, and what they shall teach, 
according to His law, and to follow their sentence ; and 
not to decline to the right hand or to the left ; " adding, 
'' But he that will be proud, and refuse to obey the com- 
mandment of the priest who ministereth at that time to 
the Lord thy God, and the decree of the judge, that 
man shall die, and thou shalt take away the evil from 
Israel. And all the people hearing it shall fear, that no 
one swell with pride," Deut. xvii. 8. 


(2.) Because Jesus Christ said to St Peter, whom He 
constituted the Head of His Church, " Thou art Peter " 
(that is, a rock), "and upon this rock will I build My 
Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
her," Mat. xvi. 18. From this text, as we have seen 
above, the infallibility of the Church, in always teaching 
the true Faith, is most solidly proved ; and the grounds 
of this proof are given by Christ Himself, when He says 
that the firmness and stability of the wise man's house 
against all storms and tempests, winds and rain, was pre- 
cisely owing to this; "for it was founded on a rock," 
Mat. vii. 25 — that is, on a solid and immovable founda- 
tion. Seeing then that St Peter, as Head of the Church, 
is the rock, under Christ, on which she is built, and see- 
ing that she is therefore infallible, because built on a 
rock, it necessarily follows that the foundation itself must 
be infallible also. 

(3.) Because our Lord said also to St Peter, " Simon, 
Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he 
may sift you as wheat ; but I have prayed for thee, that 
thy faith fail not, and thou being converted, confirm thy 
brethren," Luke, xxii. 32. Here our Saviour shows the 
rage of Satan against all His followers ; but, to disappoint 
him, Christ prayed for St Peter, in particular, that his 
faith should not fail, and then commissions him, as the 
Head, to confirm all the rest. Now, Avhen our Saviour 
prayed to His Father to raise Lazams from the dead, He 
said, " Father, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast heard 
Me, and I knew that Thou hearest Me always," John, xi. 
41. If, therefore, the prayer of Christ was always heard 
by His Father, the above prayer, that the faith of Peter 
should not fail, was without doubt heard also. Whence 
it follows that St Peter, as Head of the Church, and con- 
sequently his successors in ofiice, shall never fail in faith, 


nor teach false doctrine. Besides, our Saviour, in the very- 
text itself, shows that this very prayer for Peter was heard 
by His Father: " I have prayed for thee," says He; "you 
have nothing to fear." In consequence of My prayer, 
you shall be confirmed in the faith ; and when you are 
so, " strengthen your brethren, and confirm them also." 
Now this very commission of confirming others neces- 
sarily presupposes that the prayer of Christ was heard, by 
which Peter was confirmed in the Faith himself. Neither 
does the subsequent fall of Peter, in denying His Master 
that very night, in the smallest degree weaken this argu- 
ment : it rather corroborates it, because it shows that this 
promise of our Saviour, that Peter's faith should not fail, 
was made to him, not as a private person, but as the 
Head of the Church, and therefore to stand firm in all 
his successors ; because, like all the other promises made 
to the Church itself, it was not to be fulfilled till the com- 
ing of the Holy Ghost, Who was sent on purpose to 
establish the Church, and fulfil all the promises Christ 
made to her, and for that end to " abide with her for 

Q. 29. What proofs of the infallibility of the Head of 
the Church do they bring from tradition ? 

A. From the testimony of the holy Fathers from the 
very earliest ages, which shows that this was the belief of 
the Church in their days. Thus Origen, a celebrated 
writer in the third age, explaining the text, " Thou art 
Peter," &c. says, " It is true, though not said expressly, 
that neither against Peter, nor against the Church, shall 
the gates of hell ever be able to prevail ; for if they could 
prevail against Peter, in whom the Church is founded, 
they would also prevail against the Church. St Irenseus, 
Bishop of Lyons, in the second age, confutes all heresies, 
and all false doctrine, from the authority of the Holy See 


alone : " By declaring," says he, " the tradition and faith 
of that Church which she received from the apostles, 
and has handed down to our days," Adv. Her. 1. 3. cap. 
5. And then adds, " To this Church all must have re- 
course ; for in her the apostolical tradition is always pre- 
served." So St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, from the 
text, " Thou art Peter," concludes thus : " According to 
this promise, the apostolical Church of Peter remains 
immaculate, free from all seduction and heretical circum- 
vention." Great numbers of others are omitted for 
brevity's sake. Only we must add St Augustine, who, 
when the Pelagian heresy was condemned by the Pope, 
says, " The answer of Rome is come ; the ca:use is ended," 
Serm. 3. de Verb. Apost. " Jam enim de hac causa 
duo concilia missa sunt ad Sedem Apostolicam, inde 
etiam rescripta venerunt. Causa finita est." 

Q. 30. What proofs are brought from reason ? 

A. The proofs from reason are founded on facts, and 
on principles received by all members of the Church as 
Divine truths ; for (i.) There never was an instance of 
any Pope who proposed any doctrine to be believed by 
the Church, that was contrary to the sacred truths of faith 
revealed by Christ ; for though a few, and only a i&\\^ 
Popes have been disedifying in their lives, yet the most 
inveterate adversaries of the Catholic Faith have never 
yet been able to show that any Pope ever taught false or 
pernicious doctrine. (2.) Never yet did any Pope issue 
any decree concerning the truths of faith or sound moral- 
ity, but it was immediately received by the great body of 
the bishops as containing the most solid and wholesome 
doctrine. (3.) Many different heresies that have arisen 
in different ages in the Church have been proscribed and 
condemned by the authority of the Head of the Church 


alone, both before the first general council was held, and 
since. (4.) In all controversies of moment that have 
arisen in the Church about points of faith, the bishops 
have always had recourse to the Head of the Church, as 
the supreme tribunal for settling them ; and if the ob- 
stinacy of the party condemned by him made it advisable 
to have recourse to general councils, these councils never 
were found to do anything else, after the most mature 
examination, but confirm the sentence already passed by 
the Head. Besides, (5.) It is a truth received by all 
Catholics, as Toumely, a French divine, who writes 
against the infallibility of the Holy See, expresses it, 
" That as the Roman and apostolical See is the bond of 
Catholic unity and of Catholic communion, no man can 
be held to be a Catholic, unless he be joined with that 
See in the unity of Faith and doctrine." And then, show- 
ing that this union is of two kinds, both in the external 
profession and the internal assent of the mind, he con- 
cludes, — " To be united in both ways with the See of 
Rome was always necessary, and looked upon in all ages 
as the most certain sign and proof of true Faith and pure 
doctrine," tom. i. De Eccl. a. 6. This same truth is 
handed down from the very beginning in the \vritings of 
the holy Fathers, in every age, in the strongest terms. 
Thus St Jerom, writing to the Bishop of Rome, says : " I 
am joined in communion with your Holiness — that is, 
with the chair of Peter : upon that rock I know the 
Church is built. Whoever eats the lamb out of this house 
is profane ; whoever is not in his ark shall perish in the 
deluge ; . . . whosoever gathers not with thee scatters — 
that is, he who is not of Christ belongs to Antichrist," 
Epist. 56 ad Damas. And St Augustine, in his psalm 
against the Donatist schismatics, says to them : " Come, 
brethren, if you have a mind to be ingrafted in the vine. 

VOL. I. N 


'Tis a pity to see you lie in this manner lopped ofif from 
the stock. Reckon up the prelates in the very See of 
Peter; and in that order of Fathers see which has suc- 
ceeded which. This is the rock over which the proud 
gates of hell prevail not." (6.) The same celebrated 
Tournely acknowledges, that if a division among the 
bishops should happen about any point of Faith, " with- 
out doubt," says he, " we must adhere to that part which 
is united with the Head, which is always to be esteemed 
the better and the sounder part." From all which, the 
infallibility of the Head of the Church naturally flows ; 
for, if Christ obliges all to be united with Him in Faith 
and doctrine, He surely is obliged to preserve him from 
teaching false doctrine. From the command of Christ 
to hear His Church under pain of being considered as 
heathens and publicans, it is justly inferred that the 
Church can never err. This argument has an equal 
weight, when applied to the obligation of being united 
with the Church's Head in Faith and doctrine. 

Q. 31. These are very strong arguments indeed: but 
what proofs do the others bring for their opinion, that 
the Head of the Church is not infallible ? 

A. They bring not a single text of Scripture nor al- 
most one argument from tradition to prove it. Indeed 
they seem to aim rather at invalidating the proofs from 
Scripture and tradition in favour of infallibility, than at 
directly establishing the contrary. However, as this is 
a question in which faith is not concerned, the Church 
having given no decision regarding it, any person may 
believe it or not according as he thinks the reasons on 
either side preponderate.* 

Q. 32. What consequences flow from these Scripture 
truths concerning the Church of Christ ? 

* See Appendix B. 


A. The consequences that necessarily flow from all 
that has been said in this and the preceding chapter, are 
chiefly these three : (i.) That the Church of Christ is the 
sacred Rule of Faith, and the supreme judge of contro- 
versy, instituted and ordained by Him to preserve in- 
violate to the end of time all those Divine truths which 
He revealed to man, and on the knowledge and belief of 
which the salvation of our souls depends ; and that she 
is fully qualified by her Divine Spouse to discharge this 
office, so as to pronounce sentence upon every point of 
ra'clation, clearly and distinctly, and with infallible ce7-- 
tainty. (2.) That this Church of Christ is one body, 
having one and the same Faith, and governed by one 
and the same supreme Church authority ; so that what- 
ever sect is divided from this body, by professing a faith 
different from hers, is no part of the Church of Christ, 
but, at best, a human invention ; and the faith they pro- 
fess is falsehood and error, arising from the father of lies. 
(3.) That the Church of Christ is the only road to salva- 
tion; both because it is only in her communion that the 
true Faith of Christ can be found, " without which it is 
impossible to please God," Heb. xi. 6 ; and because 
Christ has declared, that all who refuse to hear her are 
condemned by Him as heathens and publicans, and that 
those who despise her pastors despise Christ Himself, 
and His Father who sent Him. 

Q. 2)Z- ^"^^ there any other direct proofs from Scrip- 
ture to show that out of the Church of Christ there is no 
salvation ? 

A. Yes, there are several ; of which we shall only 
mention these two here : (i.) Christ, speaking of those 
who were not yet joined in the communion of His 
Church, but whom He foreknew would make a good use 
of the graces He would give them for that purpose, says, 


" Other sheep I have who are not of this fold, them also 
I MUST BRING, and they shall hear My voice, and there 
shall be one fold and one shepherd," John, x. 16 ; where 
He plainly declares, that all those of His sheep who are 
not yet of His fold must be brought into it, as a neces- 
sary condition of their salvation. (2.) In consequence 
of this fixed disposition of the Divine providence, no 
sooner did the apostles begin to preach the Gospel, than 
immediately " the Lord added daily to the Church such 
as should be saved," Acts, ii. 47 ; which evidently shows 
that all who are not added to the Church are out of the 
way of salvation. 

Q. 34. Is it lawful to have any communication in 
things of religion with those who are separated from the 
Church of Christ ? 

A. By no means ; all communication or fellowship in 
religious duties with those who are out of the Church of 
Christ is repeatedly and strictly forbidden in the Word 
of God, both by Christ Himself and by His holy apostles. 

Q. 35. Among the many different sects of Christians 
who pretend to be the Church of Christ, how can one 
distinguish which is really the true Church ? 

A. By the marks laid down in the Holy Scriptures, by 
which the true Church of Christ can easily be distin- 
guished from all separate congregations. 




Q. I. T T THAT are the marks of the Church of 
V V Christ laid down in the Scriptures ? 

A. They are chiefly these four, as declared in the 
Nicene creed — that she is o/ie, holy, catholic, and apostolic. 

Q. 2. How does it appear that the Church of Christ 
is one ? 

A. This we have seen in the preceding chapter, where 
the Church is shown to be one body, of which Christ is 
the Head, and that all her members are united to Him in 
His body, by having all one and the same Faith, being 
all in one communion, and subject to one supreme 
Church authority. It also appears manifest, from the 
manner in which the Church is constantly represented to 
us in Scripture ; for there she is called the kingdom of 
God "that shall never be destroyed, that shall not be 
delivered up to another people, . . . but shall stand for 
ever," Dan. ii. 44. She is also called " the city of the 
living God, . . . the Church of the first-born," Heb. xii. 
22; of which God says, by His prophet David, "The 
Lord hath chosen Sion, He hath chosen it for His dwell- 
ing. This is My rest for ever and ever ; here will I dwell, 
for I have chosen it," Ps. cxxxi. 13. St Paul also calls 
her " the house of God, the Church of the living God, 


the pillar and ground of truth," i Tim. iii. 15. Seeing, 
therefore, that this kingdom, this city, this house of God, 
shall never be destroyed, but shall stand for ever, it 
necessarily follows that she can never be divided against 
herself, cannot possibly consist of jarring sects or sep- 
arate communions, contradicting and condemning one 
another, but must always be one body, and all her mem- 
bers must be perfectly united in one faith and one com- 
munion ; for Christ Himself expressly declares " that 
every kingdom divided against itself shall be made des- 
olate; and every city or house divided against itself shall 
not stand," Mat. xii. 25. St Paul also shows this unity of 
the Church, when he affirms that " we, being many, are 
ONE body in Christ," Rom. xii. 5 ; and that there is but 
" one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one Faith, one bap- 
tism," Eph. iv. 4 ; and Christ Himself, in plain terms, 
says, that " there shall be one fold and one shepherd," 
John, X. 16; which clearly shows that all the members 
of the Church of Christ make but one body, having all one 
faith, and are governed by one shephet-d. 

Q. 3. How is it proved that the Church of Christ is 

A. By holiness is meant that the Church of Christ 
teaches nothing but what is holy and tends to holiness ; 
that she proposes to her children the most powerful 
motives to induce them to become holy, that she affords 
them the most efficacious means to enable them to be so, 
and that great numbers of her children, by following her 
instructions and using these means, do actually become 
holy. Now, that all this is essential to the true Church 
of Christ is manifest from many texts of Scripture : (i.) 
The prophet Isaiah, foretelling the glories of the Church, 
as the way or rule to conduct us to eternal happiness, 
says : " And a way shall be there, and it shall be called 


the Holy way," Isa. xxxv. 8 ; or, as the Protestant trans- 
lation has it, " the way of holiness ; " and that " the un- 
clean shall not pass over it," to show that it is both holy 
in itself and conducts to holiness all those that walk 
therein, and brings them at last to eternal happiness ; for 
it is added: "They shall walk there that shall be delivered; 
and the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall 
come to Sion with praise ; and everlasting joy shall be 
upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, 
and sorrow and mourning shall flee away," ver. 9, 10. 
(2.) David also foretells the holiness of the Church, when 
he says, " Holiness becomes Thy house, O Lord, unto 
length of days," Ps. xcii. 5. (3.) St Paul assures us that 
Christ died for this very purpose, to purify His Church 
and make her holy : " Christ loved the Church," says he, 
" and delivered Himself up for it, that He might sanctify 
it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life ; 
that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, 
not having spot or \mnkle, nor any such thing ; but that 
it should be Holy and without blemish," Eph. v. 25. 
(4.) The same holy apostle also teaches that Christ died 
for the sanctification of her members, and that He " gave 
Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people accept- 
able, a pursuer of good works," Tit. ii. 14; and hence St 
Peter says, " You are a chosen generation, a Holy nation, 
a purchased people," i Pet. ii. 9. 

Q. 4. How does it appear that the Church of Christ 
is Catholic 1 

A. The word Catholic signifies imiversal, and means 
that the Church of Christ is not confined to one corner 
of the world, or to one nation, as the Jewish church was, 
but is made for all nations and for all countries, so as to 
embrace the whole world ; which is explained in the 


following manner from the Scripture: (i.) That the 
Church -was instituted by Jesus Christ to be diffused 
through all nations, and propagated to the utmost bounds 
of the earth. Thus He gave the pastors of the Church 
express commission to carry the light of His Gospel 
everywhere : " Go ye," says He, " and teach all nations," 
Mat. xxviii. 19. "Going into the world, preach the 
Gospel to every creature," Mark, xvi. 15. "And you 
shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, 
and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the 
earth," Acts, i. 8. Yea, Christ Himself assures us that 
He suffered for this very end : " Thus it behoved Christ 
to suffer," said He to the eleven, " and to rise again from 
the dead the third day; and that penance and remission 
of sins should be preached in His name among all 
nations, beginning at Jerusalem," Luke, xxiv. 46. (2.) 
That the Church being intended for this purpose, and 
being of this diffusive nature, must possess in herself the 
means and qualifications necessary for propagating the 
faith of Christ among all nations, and for converting all 
mankind to Christianity. These in the beginning were 
apostolic men, men burning with zeal for the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls, who, leaving all to follow 
Christ, cheerfully sacrificed their own ease, their life itself, 
and undenvent all dangers and difficulties, in order to 
convert souls to Christ : men eminent for their holiness 
of life, and on whom God bestowed the gift of miracles, 
as proofs of their commission, and to confirm the truth 
of what they taught. Apostolic men of this kind, then, 
must never be Avanting in the true Church of Christ, as 
the means appointed by Him for converting the world to 
His Church. Thus the prophet Isaiah foretells the per- 
petuity of apostolic pastors in the Church, and their con- 


tinual zeal for the propagation of the Gospel, in these 
words : Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed 
watchmen all the day and all the night ; they shall never 
hold their peace. You that are mindful of the Lord, 
hold not your peace," Isa. Ixii. 6. And the success of 
their labours is thus described : " Thy gates shall be open 
continually : they shall not be shut day nor night, that 
the strength of the Gentiles may be brought unto thee, 
and their kings may be brought," Isa. Ix. 1 1. 

That the gift of miracles shall not be wanting to many 
of these apostolic labourers Christ Himself assures us ; 
for when He gave the apostles and their successors the 
commission of teaching all nations, He immediately adds, 
" And these signs shall follow them that believe. In My 
Name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with 
new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they 
drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them ; they shall 
lay their hands upon the sick and they shall recover," 
Mark, xvi. 17. And that this gift of miracles was chiefly 
promised to those who preached the Word, in confirma- 
tion of what they taught, is plain, from the first perform- 
ance of the promise ; for it is immediately added that 
" they going forth preached everj^vhere, the Lord work- 
ing withal, and confirming the Word with signs that fol- 
lowed," ver. 20. On another occasion He says : "Amen, 
amen, I say unto you, he that believeth in Me, the works 
that I do he shall do also, and greater than these shall 
he do, because I go to the Father," John, xiv. 12. (3.) 
In consequence of this, the Church must, from the begin- 
ning, be propagating the faith of Christ, and from time 
to time be converting nations, till at last she be spread 
over the whole universe ; thus, " From the rising of the 
sun to the going down thereof. My name is great among 


the Gentiles," Mai. i. ii. "All the ends of the earth 
shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord, and 
all the kindred of the Gentiles shall adore in His sight ; 
for the kingdom is the Lord's, and He shall have domin- 
ion over the nations," Ps. xxi. 28. "Ask of Me, and I 
will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the 
uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession," Ps. ii. 
8. And of the kingdom of Christ, according to the Pro- 
testant translation, Isaiah says : " Of the increase of His 
government and peace there shall be no end, upon the 
throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and 
establish it with judgment and with justice, from hence- 
forth even for ever," Isa. ix. 7. And, in the New Testa- 
ment, St Paul says to the Colossians, " The truth of the 
Gospel is come to you, as also it is in the whole world, 
and bringeth forth fruit and groweth," Col. i. 6. From 
which it is evident, that to be Catholic or universal is an 
essential quality of the Church of Christ ; that she is not 
and cannot be confined to one corner or nation, but is 
more or less spread over all the known world, and is the 
Church of all nations. 

Q. 5. How does it appear that the Church of Christ 
is Apostolical? 

A. By the word Apostolical is meant, that the Church 
of Christ was founded by the apostles, and received the 
doctrine of her Faith, the powers of the priesthood, and 
the mission of her pastors from them at the beginning ; 
and that she must continue to the end of the world in 
the profession of the same Faith and doctrine, and in a 
continual uninterrupted succession of the priesthood, and 
mission of her pastors, so that the apostolical doctrine, 
priesthood, and mission, remain with her for ever. 

That the Church shall always preserve the apostolical 
doctrine we have seen above, when explaining the rule 


of faith ; and that she shall never want a succession of 
true pastors, inheriting the same priestly powers and 
mission which she received at first from the apostles, is 
manifest from these considerations : (i.) Because true 
pastors, properly empowered and lawfully sent, are a 
necessary part of the Church, and instituted by Jesus 
Christ, " for the perfecting the saints, for the work of 
the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ," 
Eph. iv. 12; consequently such pastors will never be 
wanting in her, according to the Prophet : " Upon thy 
walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen ; all the 
day and all the night they shall never hold their peace," 
Isa. Ixii. 6. (2.) Because the Scripture assures us that 
" no man taketh the honour of the priesthood upon him- 
self but he that is called by God, as Aaron was," Heb. 
V. 4 ; much less can any man possess the powers of 
the priesthood, unless they be given to him by those 
who have power to confer them. Thus St Paul writes to 
Titus, " For this cause I left thee at Crete, that thou 
shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and 
shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed 
thee," Tit. i. 5, (3.) That none who have these 
priestly powers can lawfully exercise them unless they 
be authorised and commissioned to do so by being law- 
fully sent. Thus the apostles received their mission 
from Christ, who said to them, " As my Father sent me 
I also send you," John, xx. 21. In like manner they 
sent others to succeed themselves, with power also to 
send others after them, as St Paul and Barnabas were 
sent by the pastors of the church at Antioch, and their 
doing so was declared to be the work of the Holy Ghost : 
"Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their 
hands upon them, sent them away. So they, being sent 
by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia," Acts, xii^ 


Paul himself sent Titus as above — that is, authorised 
and commissioned him to govern the church in Crete, 
and ordain pastors in it under him ; and he says, in 
another place, " How can they preach unless they be 
sent?" Rom. x. 15. This, then, is the door by which 
the true pastors of Christ's flock enter — to wit, when 
lawfully ordained and sent, or commissioned by the chief 
pastors of the Church : for all who take that office upon 
themselves, without entering by the door, are declared 
by Christ Himself to be " thieves and robbers," John, x. 
I. From which it is manifest, that as true pastors are 
an essential part of the Church of Christ, and will never 
be wanting in her, therefore there will be in the Church 
a continued uninterrupted succession, or transmission of 
the priestly powers and mission given at the beginning by 
Jesus Christ Himself to His aposUes, to the end of time. 

Q. 6. Are there any other proofs to show that these 
four marks belong to the true Church of Christ ? 

A. There are several other texts of Scripture which 
show it ; and it is also proved from the creeds : for the 
Apostles' creed contains, as an article of Divine faith, 
that the Church is holy and Catholic. " I believe in the 
Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church." And the Nicene 
creed contains all the four; I believe "One, Holy, Catholic, 
and Apostolic Church." Now the Church of England 
affirms, in the eighth of her 39 Articles, that these " creeds 
ought thoroughly to be received and believed, for they may 
be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture." 

Q. 7. Are there any other marks of the Church of 
Christ besides these four contained in the creed ? 

A. There are also two others which deserve a parti- 
cular notice, because they serve, in a most convincing 
manner, to distinguish the true Church of Christ from all 
separate congregations ; and these are, that she is per- 


petiial in her duration, and infallible in her doctrine. We 
have seen above, in the chapter on the rule of faith, that 
the Church of Christ is infaUible in what she teaches ; 
that " the words once put in her mouth at the beginning 
shall never depart from her from henceforth and for 
ever ;" that Jesus Christ is " Avith her pastors to the end 
of the world ; "' and that the " Holy Ghost," the " Spirit of 
truth, abides with her for ever," to " teach her all truth." 
All which not only show her infallibility, but also her 
perpetual duration to the end of time. But, besides 
these, we have also many other testimonies of Scripture, 
which directly prove that the Church of Christ can never 
fail, but will continue upon earth, as long as the world 
endureth. Thus, Christ " shall reign over the house of 
Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no 
end," Luke, i. 32. And this was foretold by the royal 
prophet in these words, spoken by God Himself: " Thy 
seed will I settle for ever, and I will build up Thy throne 
untogeneration and generation. . . . I will make Him My 
first-born high above the kings of the earth, and I will 
keep My mercy for Him for ever, and My covenant 
faithful to Him. And I will make His seed to endure 
for evermore ; and His throne as the days of heaven. 
And if His children forsake ]\Iy law, and walk not in My 
judgment ; if they profane My justice, and keep not My 
commandments, I will visit their iniquities with a rod, 
and their sins with stripes ; but My mercy I will not take 
away from Him, nor will I suffer My truth to fail ; neither 
will I profane My covenant, and the words that proceed 
from My mouth I will not make void. Once have I 
sworn by My holiness : I will not lie unto David ; His 
seed shall endure for ever; and His throne as the sun 
before Me ; and as the moon perfect for ever, and a 
faithful witness in heaven," Ps. Ixxxviii. 5, 28. 


What this covenant is which God makes with Christ, 
the true David, we are told by the prophet Isaiah as fol- 
lows : " And there shall come a Redeemer to Sion, and 
to them that return from iniquity in Jacob, saith the 
Lord. This is My covenant with them, saith the Lord. 
My spirit that is in Thee, and My words that I have put 
in Thy mouth, shall not depart out of Thy mouth, nor 
out of the mouth of Thy seed, nor out of the mouth of 
Thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for 
ever," Isa. lix. 20. In which texts we see a most solemn 
promise of Almighty God, both that the seed of Christ, 
His Holy Church, shall continue for ever, and that she 
shall never fail to teach the true doctrine once put in her 
mouth. The prophet Daniel also declares the perpe- 
tuity of Christ's kingdom upon earth in these strong 
terms : " In the days of those kingdoms the God of 
heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be de- 
stroyed, and His kingdom shall not be delivered up to 
another people ; and it shall break to pieces and con- 
sume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever," 
Dan. ii. 44. 

Q. 8. In which of all the Christian societies which at 
present divide the Christian world, are all these marks of 
the Church of Christ found ? 

A. The smallest attention will immediately show that 
they are to be found in the Catholic Church, and in no 
other society of Christians whatsoever, and therefore, 
that she alone is the true Church of Christ : 

(i.) The Catholic Church is one body, whose members 
are all united together in one and the same faith, in the 
same communion, and governed by one and the same 
supreme authority. And this is the more to be remarked, 
when we consider that, though those of her communion 
be exceedingly numerous, and spread throughout the 


whole known world, and difter from one another in 
almost everything else — in their country, in their lan- 
guage, in their customs, in their government, and in their 
Avorldly interests, yet they are all most perfectly united 
in religion : they everywhere believe the same Divine 
truths, profess the same faith, teach the same doctrine, 
preach the same Gospel ; so that, wherever any one of 
that Church goes, throughout the whole world, he always 
finds himself at home with those of that communion, as 
to religion. But, on the other hand, no sooner does any 
sect break off from that Church, as several have done in 
all preceding ages, than immediately the curse of division 
seems to be entailed upon them. We need only con- 
sider those of our own day, the followers of Luther and 
Calvin, who are divided and subdivided without end, 
and every day are splitting more and more, insomuch 
that, even in those who are of the same country, under 
the same government, using the same language, having 
the same customs and the same common interest, yea, 
very often in the same family, you will scarcely find half- 
a-dozen holding the same belief on all points of religion. 
The different sects among them mutually condemn each 
other, and refuse to join in communion, and those who 
live under the same denomination seldom or ever have 
in all points one common faith. No wonder : the very 
principle upon which all separate sects proceed, leaving 
every one at liberty to judge according to his own fancy, 
without any fixed ground to stand upon, must necessarily 
lead them to endless divisions ; whereas the Catholic 
Church has in its own bosom the principle of union 
among all its members — a fixed, invariable, and infallible 
rule, instituted by the Son of God to bind it together. 

Neither do they differ in matters of small imjiortance 
only, but in tenets which they themselves hold to be of 


the greatest consequence to Christianity : such as church 
government, the blessed Eucharist, free-will, and the like ; 
so that, according to some, it is a Divine truth that Jesus 
Christ instituted bishops, priests, and deacons, with due 
subordination to govern His Church; but, according to 
others, that is a falsehood and an error ; for they hold it 
as a Divine truth that Jesus Christ put all the pastors of 
the Church upon a perfect equality. According to some, 
none have power to preach the Word, and administer the 
Sacraments, but such as are lawfully ordained by a bishop 
who has received his authority by a continual uninter- 
rupted succession from Christ and His apostles. Accord- 
ing to others, any man may take upon himself the minis- 
try, preach the Word, and administer the Sacraments as 
lawfully and as validly as any bishop in England. The 
Lutherans teach as a Div-ine truth, that the true Body and 
Blood of Christ are really and substantially present in the 
blessed Eucharist, along with the bread and wine. The 
Calvinists reject this as a false doctrine, and hold that 
there is nothing in the Holy Eucharist but mere bread 
and wine, as a figure of the Body and Blood of Christ ; 
and so of other articles. 

These sects have often carried their differences to such 
a height as to excommunicate and anathematise each 
other, scarcely looking upon one another as Christians. 
Thus Luther, the great apostle of the Reformation, anathe- 
matised Zuhiglius for denying the real presence, and 
declared him to be totally possessed by Satan on that 
account. Several attempts were made by these conflict- 
ing sects to bring about a reunion among themselves, and 
conferences were frequently held for that end, but all to 
no purpose ; how much soever they pretended to agree in 
words, every one followed his own way. Their worldly 
interest was the mainspring of their seeking an agree- 


ment, as they were afraid, when disunited, of being over- 
powered by those CathoHc states against which they had 
rebelled ; and therefore their agreement was in appear- 
ance only. For whenever that fear was past, they divided 
as much as before, and have still continued to divide and 
subdivide to this day. Ashamed, however, of the con- 
temptible figure they make on this account, when com- 
pared with the unity of the Catholic Church, the modern 
device they have fallen upon is the vain pretence that 
all their different parties, though holding such opposite 
and contradictory faiths, make up but one church of 
Christ ; as if Christ had revealed one thing to one party, 
and the very reverse to another, and all their opposite 
tenets were equally the truths of God ! There is, indeed, 
one point, and only one, on which they all agree, and 
that is, their inveterate aversion and opposition to the 
Catholic Church ; for as Herod and Pilate, though ene- 
mies, combined together against the Lord and against 
His Christ, so all the various sects that ever separated 
from the spouse of Christ, however much they disagree 
among themselves, have never failed to join together in 
opposition to her, and to combine, as much as in them 
lay, for her destruction. 

(2.) With regard to holiness : This shines forth in the 
Catholic Church in the most eminent degree. All her 
doctrines are consistent. Like the component parts of 
a perfect arch, they so fit and adhere together, mutually 
supporting and supported by each other, that no flaw can 
be detected, not a shadow of inconsistency or contradic- 
tion can be discovered in them — an evident mark of 
truth ! Every article of her faith is holy in itself, and so 
conducive to true holiness that she challenges her great- 
est adversaries to show the slightest blemish or imperfec- 
tion in anything she really teaches ; and the strongest 

VOL. I. o 


proof of their inability to do so is, that, not daring to 
attack her true doctrines, by calumny and misrepresenta- 
tion they accuse her of things which she condemns and 
detests, and then combat phantoms of their own raising. 
As for holy persons, she justly glories in having great 
numbers of such in her communion, whose eminent 
virtues have been the admiration of all who know them, 
and have been frequently attested by God by innumer- 
able miracles wrought through their means, and at their 
intercession. On the other hand, no sooner did any 
sects break off from her communion, and set up a sep- 
arate faith, than evident contradictions and falsehoods 
appeared in their tenets. Many of them tended to the 
subversion of morals, or were insulting to the Divinity; 
and as for holiness of life among their members, attested 
by miracles, they never so much as pretend to it : nay, 
the general cry among them is to disclaim and deny all 
miracles whatsoever since the primitive ages, conscious 
of their own inability to procure them. 

(3.) The Catholic Church alone possesses, as her undi- 
vided property, the glorious character of Catholic. In her 
communion alone ^^^X. numbers of holy apostolic men have 
abounded in all ages, who, leaving all they possessed or 
could expect in this world, and burning with zeal for the 
conversion of souls to God, have dedicated themselves 
entirely to carry the light of the Gospel to those who 
" sat in darkness and in the shadow of death," and to 
bring heathen nations to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 
In consequence of this, from the very beginning she has 
always been extending the sacred standard of the Gospel; 
and by her alone were all the heathen nations converted 
that have ever as yet been brought to the Christian faith : 
and though in different ages several who had enjoyed 
the happiness of being in her communion have, through 


the unsearchable judgments of God, been cut ofif from it, 
yet scarcely ever did this happen than other nations, in 
much greater numbers, were called in their place to her 
bosom. Witness the great defection in these latter ages, 
which had scarcely begun when the discovery of the 
East and West Indies opened a door to carry the Gospel 
to those parts, where multitudes were.__ converted to her 
faith, insomuch that at present she is spread over the 
whole kno'WTi world. In many flourishing countries no 
other religion is known ; and. in others, where a different 
religion is established, great numbers of her communion 
are generally to be found : by all which the very name 
of Catholic is so appropriated to her that no sect pre- 
tends to assume it. The various sects are seldom to be 
found entire throughout one whole nation. They are 
generally confined to one province or corner ; they take 
their names from their founders, their tenets, or some 
particular circumstances; and in several parts of Christen- 
dom their very names are unheard of and unknown. 

(4.) The Catholic Church alotie is truly apostolic, not 
only in the continual preservation of the sacred doctrine 
delivered to her by the aposdes, which, by the very rule 
of her faith, can never be altered, but also in the con- 
stant uninterrupted succession of la^\•ful pastors, with all 
the sacred powers of the priesthood and mission derived 
from the same source. This is so palpable a truth, that 
the Church of England (which alone among the modem 
religions claims the power of ordination) acknowledges 
that whatever she has of the priestly powers she received 
from the Catholic Church, in which alone they have been 
transmitted to the present time, without interruption, 
from the apostles. It is true, indeed, that the Church 
of England claims the power of holy orders in her min- 
isters \ but this is at best a very doubtful point, and abso- 


lately denied by the Catholic Church. As for all the 
other sects, they do not so much as pretend to it ; and 
their founders, conscious of their own total want of the 
priestly powers, endeavoured to turn orders and missions 
into ridicule, rejecting the very name of Priest from their 
communion, and usurping an authority to which they 
could show no title, much less could they derive their 
assumed authority from the apostles. They paid no 
regard to the words of St Paul : " How shall they preach 
unless they be sent ?" Rom. X. 15. But, taking this office 
upon themselves, they must be classed with those false 
prophets of whom Almighty God complains : " I have 
not sent these prophets, yet they ran ; I have not spoken 
to them, yet they prophesied," Jer. xxiii. 21. They did 
not enter by the door appointed by Jesus Christ, and 
used by the apostles. What, then, can they say to show 
they are not the thieves and robbers mentioned in St 
John, X. I, instead of true pastors? 

(5.) The Catholic Church alone has had a perpetual 
being from the times of the apostles to this present day, 
without the smallest alteration or innovation of her faith 
in any one article of revealed truth. Her most inveterate 
adversaries are forced to acknowledge her existence for 
many ages before the Reformation, but they could never 
show any period when she first began to be what she 
now is. Some carry her up to the fifth, fourth, third, 
or second ages ; and some admit that she began to put 
on her present form even in the time of the apostles. 
But she justly despises all their conflicting statements ; 
and as she certainly was the true Church of Christ when 
St Paul wrote his epistle to the faithful of the city of 
Rome, and declared that "their faith was spoken of 
through the whole world," Rom. i. 8, so she holds that 
she has never ceased to be so since that time. The very 


rule of faith she follows, the promises of Jesus Christ, the 
history of all ages, the writings of the great lights of ■ 
Christianity, the Holy Fathers, which remain to this day, 
the numbers of heresies which have always broken off 
from her, and the fruitless attempts of her adversaries to 
show the contrary, convincingly prove that she is still 
the same, and that her faith has never varied. On the 
other hand, all the separate communions that ever have 
been, or are at present in the Christian world, can never 
trace back their existence beyond a period long after the 
apostles. They all went out from the great body of 
Christians that was before them, and had been from the 
beginning. Those who appear in the earlier ages of the 
Church have long since sunk into oblivion, and now 
exist no longer. Those of more modern date were many 
ages after Christ before they were so much as heard of 
in the world, and their authors, separation, and particular 
tenets, the opposition they met with, their subsequent 
divisions and subdivisions, are all recorded in the his- 
tories of their times, and show how far they are from 
having even the shadow of a claim to a perpetual exist- 
ence from the times of Christ and his apostles. 

(6.) As to infallibility in preserving the faith once 
delivered to the saints, the Catholic Church is the only 
society of Christians which not only claims it, but has 
always exercised it, and acted on all occasions as alone 
possessing that high prerogative. Others are obliged not 
only to renounce all claim to it themselves, but even to 
deny that Christ left such a privilege to His Church ; 
and they make their separation on the ground that the 
Church had actually fallen into error. The very ground- 
work of their defection is the assumption that the gates 
of hell have prevailed against the Church of Christ ; that 
the "words once put in her mouth" have gone out of 


her mouth; that ''Jesus Christ has not continued with 
her pastors in teaching all nations ; " that the " Spirit of 
truth has failed to teach her all truth ; " that she is no 
longer " the pillar and ground of truth : " in a word, that 
God Almis:htv has abandoned His Church, broken His 
covenant with her, and failed to fulfil all the sacred pro- 
mises. While they thus deny infallibility to the Church 
of Christ, they renounce, indeed, all claim to it them- 
selves ; but tell us that we must receive their fallible 
word, and, in opposition to all God's sacred promises, 
must believe, because they assert it, that the Church of 
Christ has fallen even into damnable errors, and that 
they are sent to reform her ! 

Thus it appears that all the marks and characters of 
the true Church of Christ are to be found in the Catholic 
Church, and in her alone: therefore we justly conclude 
that she alone is the true Church of Christ, the hotise of 
the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, out of 
whose communion there is no ordinary possibility of 
salvation ; and consequently, that from her we are to 
receive the true Faith of Christ — that is, the knowledge 
of those great truths of eternity which He revealed to 
the world, and the belief of which He requires of all as 
an essential condition of salvation. 

Q. 9. Is this true Faith, or the belief of those sacred 
truths which Christ revealed, alone sufficient to save us ? 

A. By no means ; it is, indeed, one condition, and a 
most necessary one, being the foundation of all other 
duties ; but it is not the only condition. In order to 
obtain salvation, Christ absolutely requires not only that 
we believe what He has taught, but also that we obey 
what He has commanded in His holy law. Thus He 
expressly says, " If thou wilt enter into life, keep the 
commandments," Mat. xix. 1 7 ; and St Paul assures us 


that " Christ is become the cause of eternal salvation to 
all that obey Him," Heb. v. 9. 

Q. 10. On what must our obedience be grounded? 

A. On charity, or the love of God, which must be the 
motive of our obedience, according to tlie words of our 
Saviour, " If you love Me, keep My commandments," 
John, xiv. 15 ; and hence St Paul declares, that in Christ 
Jesus nothing will avail us without these two essential 
conditions of faith and iove that shows itself by works : 
" In Christ Jesus," says he, " neither circumcision avail- 
eth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that works 
by charity," or love, Gal. v, 6. Again, he says, " Though 
I should have all faith, so that I could remove moun- 
tains, and have not charity, I am nothing," i Cor. xiii. 2. 
St James also declares that " faith without works is dead, 
being alone," and that " by works a man is justified, and 
not by faith only," James, ii. 17, 24. This clearly shows 
that these two conditions, faith and obedience through love, 
are both expressly required by Almighty God as condi- 
tions of salvation ; and these two include the whole sum 
of our duties. 




Q. I. 1[T THAT is the law of God? 

V V A. It is the manifestation of the 
Divine will to man, declaring what he is required to do 
and to avoid, in order to please God and save his own 

Q. 2. In what light ought we to consider the law of 

A. We ought to consider it, (i.) As our n^/e and guide ^ 
given to direct us in our pilgrimage through the wilder- 
ness of this world, and to conduct us to true happiness 
both here and hereafter. (2.) As onr Judge, because it is 
by this law that we shall be judged at the last day, and 
be either rewarded with eternal happiness, or condemned 
to eternal misery, according as we have obeyed this law, 
or transgressed it in our present life. 

Q. 3. When did God give His law to man? 

A. At three different times : Jirst, at the creation, by 
what is called the light of nature, or of reason; by which 
he imprinted in the heart of man the sense of right and 
lorong, the knowledge of good and evil, and gave him 
that inward monitor his eonscienee, moving him to do the 
one and avoid the other. By the sin of Adam, and the 
subsequent corruption of our nature, this light was greatly 


diminished ; and, as the world advanced in years, the 
wickedness of man becoming greater and greater, it was 
still more and more obscured, so as in the generality of 
mankind to be almost extinguished ; for which reason, 
when the posterity of Abraham were grown into a great 
nation, and God took them under His particular protec- 
tion, to preserve them from the general corruption, He 
made a second publication of His law to them, compris- 
ing the whole in Ten Commandments, which He wrote 
on two tables of stone, and gave them for their rule and 
direction. They continued to be so for many years ; but 
their carnal hearts in process of time overcoming their 
sense of duty, they very much corrupted the meaning of 
the law by the interpretations they put upon it ; for, as 
the law itself was given in i^w words, and contained 
many duties which were not clearly expressed in it, they 
explained it, with regard to these duties, in the way most 
agreeable to their own inclinations ; and therefore, when 
Jesus Christ came into the world. He published it a third 
time in His Gospel, with the full explanation of its true 
sense and meaning ; and established it on such a solid 
foundation in His Church, that it shall continue now 
uncorrupted among His followers to the end of the 
world, as the sum of all their duties, and the guide to 
conduct them to eternal happiness. 

Q. 4. Are we strictly obliged to obey the law of God 
and His Gospel ? 

A. Undoubtedly we are; because, (i.) God, Who is 
the Lawgiver, is our sovereign Lord and Master, "Who 
created us out of nothing, and gave us all we are and all 
we have. Who has the most absolute dominion over us, 
and can do with us whatever He pleases ; consequently 
we are wholly at His disposal, and therefore are strictly 
obliged to do whatever He requires of us. (2.) We have 


seen above that He has made our obedience to His law 
an essential condition of our salvation ; and conse- 
quently, if we refuse this obedience, we shall be punished 
with eternal misery. (3.) Because the Scripture assures 
us that " the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, 
with the angels of His power, in a flame of fire, yielding 
vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey 
not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall 
suffer eternal punishment in destruction," 2 Thess. 
i. 7. 

Q. 5. Are we obliged to obey the whole law in order 
to be saved ? 

A. We are ; for the Holy Scripture says, " Whosoever 
shall keep the whole law, but offend in one point, is 
become guilty of all," James, ii. 10 — that is, he becomes 
a transgressor of the law in such a manner, that the ob- 
serving of all the other points will not avail him to sal- 

Q. 6. Are we able, by the strength of nature alone, to 
keep the commands of God ? 

A. By our own natural strength alone, without the help 
of God's grace, we are not able to keep His commands, 
nor, indeed, so much as to think a good thought towards 
our salvation. Thus the Scriptures declare " that we are 
not sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of our- 
selves, but our sufficiency is from God," 2 Cor. iii. 5. 
" And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy 
Ghost," I Cor. xii. 3 — that is, no man can say it, so as 
to be conducive to his salvation. And our Saviour 
Himself, to show our total inability of doing any good 
of ourselves, and without His Divine assistance, says, 
"Without Me you can do nothing," John, xv. 5; and He 
confirms the same truth by the similitude of a vine and 
its branches, saying, " As the branch cannot bear fruit of 


itself unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, 
unless you abide in Me," ver. 4. 

Q. 7. Are we able to keep the commandments by the 
help of God's grace ? 

A. Yes, we are ; and God, who requires us to keep 
His commands, is never wanting on His part to give us 
sufficient grace for that purpose. The tmth of this is 
shown from several reasons : (i.) The Scriptures are full 
of the warmest exhortations to all to keep the command- 
ments, which certainly would be unbecoming the Divine 
wisdom if it were impossible to keep them with the help 
of God's grace, or if that grace were ever refused us. 
(2.) God everyAvhere obliges man to keep His com- 
mandments, under pain of eternal punishment. Now it 
is totally inconsistent with his justice, and makes God a 
cruel tyrant, to say He would punish us for breaking His 
commands, if it were impossible to keep them. (3.) 
AVe read of several in the Scripture who actually did 
keep them perfectly, and are highly praised on that 
account, such as Abraham and Job, and particularly the 
parents of St John Baptist, of whom the Scripture says, 
that " they were both just before God, walking in all 
THE COMMANDMENTS and justifications of the Lord with- 
out blame," Luke, i. 6. (4.) God Himself declares, in 
the very first commandment, that He "shows mercy to 
thousands of those that love Him and keep His com- 
mandments," Exod. XX. 6. (5.) And St Paul assures us 
that God is never wanting on His part to give us all 
necessary assistance to keep them, saying, "God is 
faithful. Who will not suffer you to be tempted above 
what you are able to bear, but will make also, with the 
temptation, issue," (that is, a way to escape), "that you 
may be able to bear it," i Cor. x. 13. 

Q. 8. How are the Ten Commandments divided ? 


A. Into two tables : of which the first consists of 
three commandments, and contains all the duties we 
owe to God ; and the second includes the other seven, 
in which are laid down all the duties we owe to our 
neighbours and to ourselves. 

Q. 9. Why do you say the first table contains only 
three commandments ? 

A. Because, though some people divide the first com- 
mandment into two, and by this means place four in the 
first table ; yet in reality it is only one and the same : 
for when God says, " Thou shalt have no other gods but 
Me," He plainly forbids us to worship any other being 
whatsoever as God, but Himself alone ; and when after- 
wards He says, " Thou shalt not make to thyself any 
graven thing, &c. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve 
them : for I am the Lord thy God," — He only explains in 
particular what He had before declared in general terms, 
and forbids the worship of idols as gods. 

Q. 10. But what need was there for this particular 
explanation ? 

A. Because, as the worship of idols was then pre- 
valent in the world, and the people of Israel were ex- 
ceedingly prone to this vice, as appears from their 
whole history, it pleased Almighty God to caution them 
in particular against so detestable a breach of it. 

Q. II. How then do you make out all the Ten Com- 
mandments, if this be joined in one? 

A. Those who divide this first commandment into 
two are obliged to join the two last together ; for, 
" Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife," and " Thou 
shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods," are manifestly two 
distinct commands. 

Q. 1 2. How can this be shown ? 

A. Because they forbid the internal acts of two totally 


different and distinct sins — the one a sin of lust, the 
other a sin of injustice ; and as the external acts of these 
sins are forbidden by two distinct commandments, 
"Thou shalt not commit adultery," and "Thou shalt 
not steal," because they are two distinct sins, so the 
inward acts, or desires of these vices, being equally dis- 
tinct sins, require likewise to be forbidden by two dis- 
tinct commands. 




Q. I. '^T 7 HAT do you mean by the commands of 
VV the Church? 

A. The commands of the Church, in general, signify 
all those laws, rules, and regulations, which the pastors 
of the Church have made for the perfecting of the saints, 
for the work of the ministry, and for the edification of the 
body of Christ ; but what is meant in particular by the 
commands or precepts of the Church are six general 
laws, which are of more eminent note in the Church, 
both on account of their antiquity, having been observed, 
as to their substance, from the very first ages, and on 
account also of their universality, as obliging every 
member of the Church, without exception, whom they 

Q. 2. Are the people obliged, in conscience, to obey 
the laws of the Church ? 

A. We have seen this obligation proved at large in the 
chapter on the Church (which see), and hence it is the 
constant doctrine of the Church, that all her children are 
obliged in conscience to obey her commands ; that it is 
always a sin wilfully to trangress them, and a mortal sin 
if it be done in a matter of moment, or out of contempt. 
And the council of Trent, one of the greatest and most 


respected general councils that have been in the Church, 
condemns, and pronounces anathema upon all those who 
shall teach the contrary. This obligation will appear 
still more fully if we consider the light in which the 
sacred Scripture represents these commands. 

Q. 3. In what light does the Scripture represent the 
commands of the pastors of the Church ? 

A. As the commands of God Himself, more than as 
the commands of men. For, (i.) Christ declares to the 
pastors of the Church, "he that hears you hears Me;" 
consequently they are the ministers of Christ, by whom 
He discovers His Avill to His people. (2.) When the 
apostles and other pastors, in the council of Jerusalem, 
gave orders to abstain from " blood, and things 
strangled," they began their decree in this manner : " It 
has seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay 
no further burden upon you than these necessary 
things," Acts, xv. 28 ; where they plainly affirm that 
this command of abstinence was a command of the Holy 
Ghost, published by this decree of the pastors of the 
Church. (3.) St Paul also, writing to the Thessalonians 
concerning the commands he had laid upon them, says, 
" You know what precepts I have given you by the Lord 
Jesus;" and a little after he adds, "Therefore, he that 
despises these things despiseth not man but God, Who 
also hath given His Holy Spirit in us," i Thess. iv. 2, 8; 
alluding to what our Saviour said, " he that despises you, 
despises Me." (4.) Our Saviour also declares to the 
pastors of the Church, in the persons of His apostles, 
" Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in 
heaven," Mat. xviii. 18 ; consequently, when the pastors 
of the Church make laws for the Christian people, and 
bind them, by their commands, to do what they judge 
necessary for "the edification of the body of Christ," 


the people are bound in heaven to obey these com- 
mands, as being ratified and confirmed by God Himself. 
(5.) When we consider the six principal commands of 
the Church in particular, we shall see that the duties 
prescribed by them are duties which God Himself ex- 
pressly demands from us, and that all the part the 
Church has in them is only to determine the particular 
time, place, or manner, in which we ought to practise 
them, lest, if left to ourselves, we should neglect them 

Section I. 

Of the First Command of the Church. 

Q. 4. What is the first command of the Church ? 

A. To hear Mass on Sundays and Holidays, and to rest 
from servile work. 

Q. 5. What is the end and design of this command? 

A. To direct us in the manner in which we ought to 
employ the time set apart for the service of God. 

Q. 6. Does God Himself require that we should set 
apart some of our time to be wholly dedicated to His 
service ? 

A. He does ; and has expressly commanded one day 
in seven to be allotted for that purpose. Besides which, 
under the old law. He also ordained six great solemnities 
to be kept holy throughout the year, in memory of the 
great temporal favours He had bestowed upon His 
people, as is related at large in the twenty-third chapter 
of Leviticus, and in the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth 
chapters of the book of Numbers ; all which He com- 
manded to be kept with the same strictness as the 
Sabbath itself, and two of them lasted for eight days 


Q. 7. Are these holidays of God's appointment under 
the old law binding upon Christians under the Gospel ? 

A. By no means : they were instituted in memory of 
the particular temporal benefits bestowed on the people 
of Israel, and were binding on them alone ; and, like 
the rest of the exterior of their religion, which was all a 
figure of the good things to come under the Gospel, they 
were types of the Christian holidays which were to be 
ordained by the Church of Christ, in memory of the 
spiritual benefits bestowed by Him on Christians, and 
therefore were fulfilled and abrogated when the Christian 
religion was established. 

Q. 8. By whom are the Christian holidays appointed ? 

A. By the Church of Christ; which also, by the 
authority and power given her by her Divine Spouse, 
ordained the Sunday, or first day of the week, to be 
kept holy, instead of Saturday, or the seventh day, which 
was ordered to be kept holy among the Jews by God 

Q. 9. For what end does the Church appoint holi- 

A. For the same ends for which the seventh day and 
the holidays of the old law were instituted by God Him- 
self, Whose example in this she follows. These ends are, 
(i.) To dedicate a portion of our time to the service of 
God alone, to Whom the whole belongs. (2.) To have 
leisure from our worldly affairs that we may apply our- 
selves more earnestly to the concerns of our souls. God 
takes to Himself the glory of having these days dedi- 
cated to His service, as is most due ; but He gives all 
the profit to us. (3.) To keep up the continual remem- 
brance of the great spiritual benefits we have received 
from God in the different mysteries of our redemption, 
and to adore and thank God for them ; as we should be 

VOL. I. P 


very apt to forget them entirely, were it not for the 
return of these sacred solemnities. (4.) To honour 
God in His saints, and to be encouraged by their exam- 
ple, and helped by their prayers to live a life of piety 
and virtue. (5.). That those who have litde or no leisure 
on other days, on account of the duties of their state of 
life, to receive instruction in their religion, may have 
time, on these holidays, for so necessary an employ- 

Q. 10. In what manner does the Church command 
these holidays to be kept ? 

A. In the same manner as the Sundays ; by abstaining 
from all unnecessary servile work, and employing such 
a portion of the day in exercises of piety and devotion, 
that we may be truly said to keep the day holy, and par- 
ticularly by assisting at the holy sacrifice of the Mass. 

Q. II. Why are the holidays commanded to be kept 
in the same way as Sundays ? 

A. Because (i.) the intention of instituting both Sun- 
days and holidays is the same. (2.) God commanded 
the holidays of the old law to be kept in the same way 
as the Sabbath ; and as these were only types of the 
Sundays and holidays of the new law, if this was done 
in the figure, where only temporal benefits were com- 
memorated, much more ought it to be done in the sub- 
stance, which regards the great spiritual benefits of our 

Q. 1 2. Why is hearing Mass only, and no other par- 
ticular exercise of piety, commanded on Sundays and 
holidays ? 

A. We are commanded, both by the law of God and 
the law of His Church, to keep these days holy 3 but as 
all the various exercises of piety are not always fit for 
every one, therefore it is left to each one's own devotion 


to spend these days in such exercises as may be most 
proper for himself. Yet, as assisting at the holy sacrifice 
of the Mass is the duty of all, especially upon these days, 
therefore the Church obliges all her children, by an 
express command, to do so. Not as if this alone were 
enough to keep the day holy, but that this must be done 
by all as an essential duty of the day, other pious exer- 
cises being left to each one's devotion. 

Q. 13. Would it be a mortal sin to work upon holi- 
days ? 

A. It would, except necessity, or the small quantity 
of the work done, excused from the guilt of a grievous 
sin : because it would be a transgression of the laws of 
the Church of Christ, whom He commands us to obey, 
under pain of being condemned as heathens and publi- 
cans. It would also be a profanation of those sacred 
days, set apart for the service of the Almighty, by doing 
what is expressly forbidden to be done upon them. 

Q. 14. Would it be a mortal sin to omit hearing Mass 
on a Sunday or a holiday ? 

A. Most certainly, unless we were hindered by a just 
necessity ; for it would be a transgression of the law, a 
disobedience to the highest spiritual authority upon earth, 
and a depriving God of that homage which we are com- 
manded to give Him on these sacred days. 

Q. 15. What is the proper idea of this first precept of 
the Church? 

A. It is this, that Almighty God absolutely requires in 
general certain portions of our time to be set apart for 
His ser\'ice and the concerns of our souls : that He has 
Himself appointed one day in seven to be allotted for 
that purpose, and has left power to His Church to deter- 
mine others as circumstances may require ; and that the 
Church, in virtue of this power, having appointed several 


holidays, we ought to consider them as decisions of the 
general law of God concerning the portions of our time 
we should give to Him. 

. Q. 16. But is it not a great loss to the people to leave 
off their work on these days ? 

A. In answer to this, let us consider (i.) Is it not an 
infinitely greater loss for their souls, to lose the grace 
and favour of God, by robbing Him of that portion of 
their time which He demands from them, and by bring- 
ing upon themselves the guilt of mortal sin ? (2.) How 
many days and hours do they throw away in idleness and 
sinful occupations without any regret ? Is it not a shame 
for Christians to throw away their time, with pleasure, 
when serving the devil, and ruining their souls ; and 
only to regret it when spent in the service of God, and 
the concerns of salvation? (3.) Has not God a thousand 
ways of making up that loss, by giving a blessing to 
their affairs, and causing things to proceed prosperously 
with them? And is it not a criminal distrust in His 
Providence, to imagine He would allow us to suffer loss 
in our affairs, by our attention to His service ; especially 
when He has often promised, in His Holy Scriptures, to 
bless our temporal affairs, if we are careful to sanctify 
the days set apart for His service ; and has expressly 
said, " Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His justice, 
and all these things shall be added to you"? Matt. vi. 33. 
(4.) Has He not often threatened, in His Holy Scrip- 
tures, to punish us in our temporal affairs, if we profane 
His holy days ? Has He not numberless ways of putting 
these threats into execution, unknown to us ? And will 
not this be an infinitely greater loss than that of a day's 
work? Where then is our faith, if we are deterred from 
our duty by such unchristian fears ? 


Section II. 

Of the Second Command of the Church. 

Q. 17. What is the second command of the Church? 

A. To fast during the time of Lent, on Ember Days and 
Vigils, and to abstain from flesh on Fridays and Saturdays.'^ 

Q. 18. What is the end and design of this command? 

A. It is to direct us in the times and manner in which 
we are to perform the duty of fasting, which God, by a 
general command, lays upon all. 

Q. 19. What is meant by fasting? 

A. The not taking our usual food, either as to quality 
or quantity. The not taking our usual food as to the 
quality, or the abstaining from certain kinds of food, is 
properly called abstinence ; the diminishing the usual 
quantity of our food is properly cd^Xo.^ fastiiig ; though 
fasting, in general, includes both. 

Q 20. Is it agreeable to the spirit of religion, and to 
the word of God, that we sometimes abstain from certain 
kinds of food, for some good end ? 

A. Nothing can be more so; for (i.) The very first, 
and the only, command which God laid on man in the 
state of innocence, was that of abstinence, forbidding 
our first parents to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge 
in the garden of Paradise. (2.) When Noah came out 
of the ark, God gave him leave to eat animal food, but 
expressly commanded him to abstain " from flesh with 
blood," Gen. ix. 4. (3.) When God brought His people 
out of Egypt, He laid a most strict command upon them 
of abstaining from leaver ed bread during the seven days 
of the solemnity of the Passover, He even forbade them 
to have it in their houses, under pain of death. See 

* See Appendix C. 


Exod. xii. 15. (4.) He commanded His priests, under 
pain of death, to abstain from wine and all strong drink, 
when they went to serve in the tabernacle, Lev. x. 9. 
(5.) He laid a strict command on all His people, to ob- 
serve a perpetual abstinence from several of the most 
delicate kinds of animal food; and ordered them to look 
upon all these forbidden creatures as unclean, and an 
abomination, declaring that the eating of them would 
defile their souls, and render them unclean : " Do not 
defile your souls," says He, after showing what they 
should abstain from, " nor touch ought thereof; for I am 
the Lord your God ; be holy, because I am holy," Lev. 
xi. 43. (6.) He commanded them, under pain of death, 
to abstain from eating the blood of any animal, Lev, vii. 
26. (7.) The Nazarites were commanded to abstain 
from wine, and everything that belongs to or comes from 
the grape, during all the time of their sanctification. 
Num. vi. 2, 3. And the mother of Samson was ordered 
to abstain from wine, and all intoxicating liquors, during 
the time she was with child of him; because he was to 
be a Nazarite from his mother's womb. Judges, xiii. 7. 
From which it is manifest, that abstinence from par- 
ticular kinds of food, especially such as are more pleasing 
to flesh and blood, and more nourishing to the body, 
whether continually or for a time, is most agreeable to 
religion and to the word of God; and that when done 
in obedience to proper authority, and for a good end, it 
contributes to sanctify the soul, and unite us to God. 

Q. 21. Did the people of God, in the old law, observe 
exactly this command of abstinence ? 

A. To the shame and confusion of Christians nowa- 
days, who are so negligent in this duty, the servants of 
God, in the old law, observed it with such exactness, 
that they chose rather to die, upon occasion, than to 


break it. Thus Eleazar, a venerable old man, when a 
heathen king wished him to eat forbidden meat, and " he 
was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine's flesh, he, 
choosing rather a glorious death than a hateful life, went 
forward, of his own accord, to the torment . . . and 
when he was ready to die with the stripes, he groaned, 
and said, O Lord, Who hast the holy knowledge. Thou 
knowest manifestly that, whereas I might be delivered 
from death, I suffer grievous pains in body; but in soul 
I am well content to suffer these things, because I fear 
Thee," 2 Mac. vi. 18, 30. After him seven brothers, with 
their mother, suffered most cruel torments, and cheer- 
fully went to death for the same cause, the mother her- 
self exhorting them to constancy, as is related in the 
following chapter. In like manner, Daniel and his com- 
panions, in their captivity, chose rather to live upon 
pottage and water than " be defiled with the king's 
table, and with the wine which he drank," Dan i. 8, 12, 
contrary to the abstinence which their religion required 
from them. And the same holy prophet, when he sought 
to obtain understanding from God, had recourse to 
voluntary abstinence from things not forbidden by the 
law, but pleasing to flesh and blood, as a most powerful 
means to get his petition granted. " In those days," 
says he, "I, Daniel, mourned the days of three weeks; 
I ate no pleasant bread, and neither flesh nor wine 
entered my mouth; neither was I anointed with oint- 
ment till the days of three weeks were accomplished," 
Dan. X. 2. And this voluntary abstinence was so agree- 
able to God, that at the end of three weeks an angel 
was sent from heaven to tell him all he desired to know, 
who said to him, " From the first day that thou didst 
set thy heart to understand, to afilict thyself in the sight 
of thy God, thy words have been heard, and I am come 


for thy words," ver. 12, Could anything more evidently 
show the great advantage of abstinence, and how agree- 
able it is in the sight of God ? 

Q. 22. Is there any authority for practising abstinence 
in the New Testament ? 

A. There is the strongest authority for it, from the 
apostles themselves; for they, being met in council at 
Jerusalem, gave out an express command to the newly- 
converted Gentiles, " to abstain from things sacrificed to 
idols, and from blood, and from things strangled," Acts, 
XV. 29 ; and declared at the same time that this com- 
mand was dictated by the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 23. But does not St Paul say, "that it is the doc- 
trine of devils to forbid to marry, and to abstain from 
meats, which God hath created to be received with 
thanksgiving ? " i Tim. iv. 3. 

A. Certainly St Paul cannot mean that the apostles 
taught the doctrine of devils, when they commanded " to 
abstain from blood and things strangled," Acts, xv. 29. 
What he condemns is the doctrine of those heretics 
who taught that flesh and wine were evil in themselves, 
because not created by the true God, but by an evil 
principle; and, therefore, in confutation of these heretics, 
he adds, that " every creature of God is good, and no- 
thing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving; 
for it is sanctified by the word of God, and by prayer," 
I Tim. iv. 4. These heretics were the Manicheans fore- 
told here by the apostle, and who, when they afterwards 
appeared, were loudly condemned by the Church for 
this their impious doctrine ; but it is evident this doc- 
trine has nothing to do with abstaining from some of the 
creatures of God, which are more pleasing to our corrupt 
natures, from the motive of obedience, or of self-denial 
and mortification, at particular penitential times. 


Q. 24. What then does St Paul mean when he says, 
" Whatsoever is sold in the shambles eat, asking no 
questions for conscience' sake"? i Cor. x. 25. 

A. He is there speaking of those who, from a scruple 
of conscience, were afraid of eating meats that had been 
offered to idols. Against this he argues strongly in the 
eighth chapter; and resuming it here, he concludes that 
whatever is publicly sold in the shambles they should 
buy and eat, without asking any questions, or troubling 
their minds whether it had been offered to idols or not. 
But it is manifest that this has nothing to do with ab- 
staining from particular meats, at a time, for a good end. 

Q. 25. Is there any command of God obliging us to 

A. There is a general command obliging all to the 
practice of fasting, but without prescribing the particular 
times or manner of doing it. 

Q. 26. How does this commandappear from Scripture? 

A. In several ways ; (i.) God expressly requires fast- 
ing, as a condition with which our repentance ought to 
be accompanied, in order to please Him. " Be converted 
to Me," says He, " with your whole heart, in fasting and 
in weeping and in mourning," Joel, ii. 12. (2.) Our 
Saviour assures us, that after His ascension His fol- 
lowers should fast: "The days will come," says He, 
" when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and 
then they shall fast," Mat. ix. 15. (3.) He also gives us 
rules about the intention with which we ought to fast, 
and promises a reward fordoing it: " When thou fastest," 
says He, " anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou 
appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in 
secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay 
thee," Mat. vi. 17. (4.) St Paul requires fasting, among 
other virtues, as necessary to make us true servants of 


God; and exhorts us to it. " Let us in all things," says 
he, "exliibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much 
patience ... in labours, in watchings, in fastings," 
2 Cor. vi. 4. 

Q. 27. Do we find that the servants of God practised 
fasting ? 

A. Through the whole history of religion we find that 
all the servants of God have been most assiduous in the 
practice of this holy virtue. The forty days' fasts of 
Moses and Elias are well known to all. The royal 
prophet assures us that " his knees were weak with fast- 
ing, and that he mingled ashes with his bread, and tears 
with his drink." Daniel prayed to God "in fasting, 
sackcloth, and ashes," Dan. ix. 3. Judith was remark- 
able for her constant fasting. Anna the prophetess is 
commended in the Gospel, because she "served God 
night and day in fasting and prayer," Luke, ii. 37. St 
Paul tells us that his life was spent "in hunger and 
thirst, and often fasting," 2 Cor. xi. 27. The apostles 
" ministered to the Lord, and fasted," Acts, xiii. 2. And 
" when they had ordained priests in every church, they 
prayed with fasting," Acts, xiv. 22. All which shows 
that they considered fasting as a necessary duty, which 
God required from His servants. To this practice we 
are also encouraged by the example of Christ our Lord, 
Who fasted forty days and forty nights in the desert, 
without tasting bread or drinking water. 

Q. 28. Is fasting of any benefit to those who practise 

A. Many and great are the advantages of fasting ; for 
(i.) It obtains pardon of sins, as we see in the Israelites, 
I Kings, vii. 6. And in the Ninevites, Jonas, iii. And 
God requires it of sinners, in order to find mercy ; " Be 
converted to me in your whole heart in fasting," Joel, 

ii. 12. (2.) It causes our prayers to be heard, as we have 
seen above in Daniel, 9th and loth chapters. Judith 
assured her people of this truth: " Know," says she, " that 
the Lord will hear your prayer, if you persevere in your 
fasting and prayer before the Lord," Ji^idith, iv. 11. And 
the angel Raphael declared to Tobias that " prayer is good 
when joined with fasting," Tobias, xii. 8. (3.) It obtains 
great strength against the temptations of the devil ; some 
of which, as Cluist Himself assures us, "cannot be cast 
out but by prayer and fasting;" and St Peter exhorts us 
" to be sober and watch," 2 Pet. v. 8, as the best preserva- 
tive against his infernal assaults. (4.) It also obtains 
many temporal blessings : thus king " Jehosaphat, being 
exceedingly afraid" at the multitude of his enemies, "be- 
took himself to pray to the Lord, and proclaimed a fast 
to all Juda," 2 Chron. xx. 3, and on this account gained a 
most miraculous victory. Esdras, being much afraid on 
his journey, says, " Wherefore we fasted and prayed to the 
Lord, and it happened prosperously to us," i Esdr. viii. 
23. Nehemias, having to intercede with the king for his 
people, says, " I wept and lamented many days, and 
fasted and prayed before the God of heaven," 2 Esdr. i. 
4, 1 1 ; and he found mercy with the king, and got all he 
desired. Esther, by her fasting, obtained the preserva- 
tion of her people, and so of many others. 

Q. 29. Why did not Almighty God determine Him- 
self the time and manner of fasting ? 

A. For a very obvious reason ; because the circum- 
stances of times, and places, and people's constitutions, 
are so various and changeable that no particular rules 
could be laid down to suit all ; and therefore it was 
necessary that the determining the times and manner of 
fasting should be left to be accommodated to these cir- 
cumstances, and to be altered as they might require. 


Q. 30, To whom has God given power to determine 

A. To the apostles and their successors, the pastors 
of the Church, to whom, as we have seen above, He has 
given the full power and authority of making laws and 
regulations for the Christian people, "for the work of the 
ministry, the perfecting the saints, and the edification of 
the body of Christ," Eph. iv. 12. 

Q. 31. Why was it not left to each one in particular 
to fast as he pleased ? 

A. Alas ! the backwardness and aversion which too 
many have to the practice of this duty, and the too 
general neglect of it, even when we are obliged by the 
command of the Church to perform it, clearly prove that 
if it were left wholly to ourselves, we should soon give it 
up entirely ; and therefore it was highly expedient that a 
living judge should be appointed, with power to enforce 
the exercise of so useful and necessary a duty, and pre- 
vent its being totally neglected. 

Q. 32. What part does the Church act in her com- 
mand of fasting ? 

A. She ordains the particular times and the manner in 
which we are to obey the general command which God 
lays upon all. So that, properly speaking, the obligation 
of fasting is laid upon us by God Himself, and the times 
and manner of doing it are prescribed by the Church 
according to circumstances. 

Q. 33. Are the people then obliged to fast when and 
in what manner the Church commands ? 

A. Most undoubtedly; they are obliged to it under 
pain of mortal sin ; because, as God has not specified the 
times and manner of fasting, but left this to be done by 
His Church, to whom He has given power and authority 
for this purpose, if we transgress her orders we resist the 


ordinances of God ; of which the Scripture says, " He that 
resists, purchases to himself damnation," Rom. xiii. 2. 
We despise the voice of Jesus Christ speaking to us by 
the pastors of His Church ; " For he that despises you," 
says He, " despises Me, and He that despises Me 
despises Him that sent Me;" and, for refusing to hear 
His Church, we shall be classed by Him with heathens 
and publieans. 

Q. 34. What is the rule prescribed by the Church for 
fasting ? 

A. The practice of the Church has been different, in 
this respect, in different ages, according to circumstances; 
and even in the same age it is not exactly the same in 
all places, especially with regard to the point of abstin- 
ence. In the primitive ages the general rule of abstin- 
ence, on fasting days, was to abstain from flesh, and 
all white-meats that come from flesh, and from wine ; and 
the general rule for the quantity was to take only one 
meal in four-and-twenty hours, and that not till the even- 
ing. Thus St Basil, in his ' First Homily on Fasting,' 
says, " You eat no flesh, you abstain from wine, and you 
wait till the evening before you take your food." But in 
process of time, the fervour of Christians becoming cold, 
this ancient rule of fasting was much relaxed, insomuch 
that at present the general rule of abstinence is, (i.) On 
all fasting days out of Lent, and on all Fridays and 
Saturdays throughout the year, to abstain from flesh- 
meat, or other things made of flesh ; and (2.) During 
Lent to abstain from flesh, and anything made of flesh, and 
also from all white-meats, as they come from flesh, such as 
eggs, milk, butter, cheese, &c. And the general rule for 
the quantity is, (i.) To take, indeed, but one full meal 
in the day; but (2.) To take it about mid-day, and not 
before; and (3.) a small collation is allowed at night, as 


a moderate support to the weakness of nature till next 
day at noon. 

Q. 35. Does this general rule of fasting take place 
everywhere throughout the Church? 

A. In general it does ; though there are some excep- 
tions in particular places, especially in those countries 
where people, having little or nothing else to eat with 
their bread but white-meats, these are more or less per- 
mitted in Lent itself, and in some places eggs also, by a 
particular ancient privilege. 

Q. 36. Does this great indulgence of the Church make 
her children more fervent in observing this easy rule of 
fasting, which she lays upon them by her present dis- 
cipline ? 

A. The rule of fasting which the Church prescribes at 
present is easy indeed, when compared with the ancient 
practice ; and this ought in all reason to excite her mem- 
bers to comply, with the greatest exactness, with what is 
required of them. No doubt there are great numbers 
everywhere who observe it with the greatest attention ; 
but it must be owned with regret that this is not the 
general custom ; on the contrary, when one considers 
the lax opinions with regard to the obligation of fasting, 
and the consequent practices which everywhere prevail, 
one would be apt to fear that both the spirit and prac- 
tice of fasting are every day disappearing more and more 
from amongst us. So many complaints we daily hear of 
the difficulty and hardship of it, and so many inconveni- 
ences found in observing it, such weakness of faith as to 
the spiritual benefits and advantages of it, such unchris- 
tian ideas of the greatness of the obligation of complying 
with it, and, in consequence of these dispositions, such 
liberties are everywhere taken in evading the law, both 
as to the quantity and quality, as must give the utmost 


grief and concern to every serious Christian, and call 
upon all. who have any zeal for the glory of God, and 
especially on those whose duty it is to conduct others in 
the road to salvation, to contribute their utmost, by their 
prayers and example, to stop the growing evil ; lest, if 
that powerful means of appeasing the wrath of God be 
banished from amongst us, His offended justice should 
fall upon us with redoubled vengeance. What would 
have been the fate of Ninive if fasting had not interposed 
to preserve it ? 

(2-37. Why do not the pastors of the Church exert the 
authority Christ has given them to remedy this evil ? 

A. The late learned and pious Head of the Church, 
Pope Benedict XIV., was deeply sensible of this evil, 
and of the fatal consequences of it ; and, in order to 
arrest its progress, he issued two different decrees, ad- 
dressed to all the Bishops of the Church, containing 
several salutary- regulations, which, with all the weight of 
his supreme authority, as Head of the Church and Vicar 
of Jesus Christ, he enjoins to be observed by all her 
children throughout the whole world. And in his intro- 
duction he shows the high esteem we ought to have for 
this sacred duty, and laments the present unhappy dis- 
positions of Christians regarding it, in the following 
manner : — • 

" We doubt not, Venerable Brethren, but that it is well 
known to all those who profess the Catholic Religion, 
that the fast of Lent has always been looked upon as one 
principal point of orthodox discipline throughout the 
Christian world. This fast was of old prefigured in the 
law and in the prophets, and consecrated by the example 
of our Lord Jesus Christ ; it was delivered to us by the 
apostles, everj'where ordained by the sacred canons, and 
retained and observed by the whole Church from her 


very beginning. As we are daily offending God by sin, 
in this common penance we find a remedy ; and, by par- 
taking of the Cross of Christ, we perform, by this means, 
some part of what Christ did for us ; and, at the same 
time, both souls and bodies being purified by this Holy 
fast, we are more worthily prepared for celebrating the 
most sacred mysteries of our redemption, the Passion and 
Resurrection of our Lord. This is, as it were, the ban- 
ner of our spiritual warfare, by which we are distinguished 
from the enemies of the Cross of Christ, and by which 
we avert from ourselves the scourges of the Divine ven- 
geance, and are daily strengthened with the assistance of 
Heaven against all the powers of darkness. Hence, if 
this sacred fast should come to be despised, it will cer- 
tainly prove a detriment to the glory of God, and a dis- 
grace to the Catholic Religion, and expose the souls of 
the faithful to great danger : nor can we doubt that this 
is one great cause of the calamities and miseries that 
oppress both states and individuals. But, alas ! how 
difterent, how opposite is the prevailing practice of many 
at present, to the ancient respect and reverential observ- 
ance of this Holy time, and of other fasting days, which 
were so deeply imprinted in the hearts of all Christians 
from the very beginning," &c. So far our Holy Father, 
out of his great zeal for the glory of God and the good 
of our souls. Is it possible to read with attention what 
he here says, without being penetrated with the like pious 
sentiments ? 

Q. 38. What are the regulations which this learned 
Pope prescribes ? 

A. He observes that one great cause of the present 
relaxation of this ancient discipline is the too importun- 
ate demand of many people to be dispensed with in the 
rule of fasting, or their imprudently taking dispensations 


at tlicir own hand, and the too great easiness of tlicir 
l)astors in granting them ; therefore, to put a stop to this, 
he declares: (1.) That it is unlawful, and a sin, for any 
])erson audaciously to usurp the power of dispensing 
himself in these laws of the Church. (2.) That none 
ought to importune their pastors to grant such dispensa- 
tion, and endeavour, as it were, to extort it from them 
(3.) That no dispensation ought to be given without a 
real and just cause. (4.) That when a dispensation is 
granted to eat flesh on fasting days, it is absolutely for- 
bidden to eat fish at the same time. (5.) That a dispen- 
sation to eat flesh on a fasting day docs not free the i)erson 
from die strict obligation of eating but one meal : And 
(6.) He enjoins all pastors, and burdens their conscience 
with it, as they must account to their great Judge, to use 
all proper caution and tliscretion in granting these dis- 

Q. 39. What rule is to be followed in taking the col- 
lation at night ? 

A. When the time of taking one meal on fasting days 
,was changed from the evening to about mid-day, the 
custom of taking a small collnlion was then introduced, 
chiefly for two reasons ; first, because it was found 
too hard upon many constitutions to go without food 
from mid-day to mid-day; and, secondly, because many 
could not get their night's sleep if they went to rest fiist- 
ing ; and the collation was intended merely as a support 
to this weakness of human nature. Hence, as it is an 
infringement on the ancient rule of fasting, for a particular 
reason, it plainly follows, that it ought to be such, both 
as to the (juantity and (lualily, as is merely necessary for 
answering the end proposed. At first, it consisted only 
of a litde bread and drink; but as the heart of man is 
always prone to gratify and indulge the cravings of the 

V(.)L. 1. Q 


sensual appetite, by degrees greater liberties were taken, 
and became customary. However, to put a stop to 
further relaxation, the late Pope, Benedict XIV., and his 
successor, Clement XIII., being severally applied to for 
this purpose, both declared that, even when a dispensa- 
tion was granted for eating flesh or white meats at dinner, 
on any fasting days, this was no by means to be extended 
to the collation at night. Conformable, then, to this regu- 
lation, it follows that, in those countries where milk, and 
things that come from milk, are used on fasting days, by 
the common law of the place, and eggs only as a privilege, 
or by a dispensation, though the former may be used also 
at collation, yet eggs certainly cannot. As for the quan- 
tity allowed, this must depend upon circumstances, though 
the general voice of divines agrees that it ought not to 
exceed about eight ounces. 

Q. 40. But what if any person, from his particular con- 
stitution, could not sleep after such a slight repast ? 

A. There is a very easy remedy for that ; let him take 
his collation about mid-day, and his full meal at night. 

Q. 41. Who are exempt from the obligation of fasting? 

A. Both Almighty God and His Church, in laying 
upon us the obligation of fasting, intend by it to promote 
the real good of our souls, but by no means to destroy 
or even to impair the health of our body, or to hinder us 
from the lawful, much less from the virtuous, employ- 
ments of our state of life. On this account, all are ex- 
empted from the law of fasting, as to the quantity, whose 
state of health, or weakness of age, or the necessary 
duties of their state of life, render fasting improper; such 
as young people under the age of twenty-one, because, 
till about that age, nature requires full sustenance for the 
growth of the body; also old people, who are able to 
take only a little at a time, but require it frequently; 


women with child, and those that give suck, because 
they have to support and nourish their child as well as 
themselves; people whose state of life subjects them to 
hard labour, and who require full nourishment to support 
them under it, such as husbandmen and tradesmen; also 
those who are obliged to make journeys on foot, or assist 
the sick. But though these are exempted from the obli- 
gation of fasting, yet they are still obliged to observe the 
rules of abstinence, unless some other particular reason 
require the contrary, as is often the case with people in 
sickness, where not only the quantity but also the 
quality of the food must be dispensed with, as their 
disease, according to the opinion of physicians, may re- 
quire it. On the other hand, where a person, on account 
of his health, is dispensed from the rule of abstinence, 
yet he is still obliged to observe the rule of fasting, as to 
the quantity, unless some other cause require a dispen- 
sation in this also. And when any such dispensation is 
given, it is sometimes enjoined, and always supposed, 
that they make up for this indulgence by other works of 
piety, such as more frequent prayer, and works of mercy 
towards their fellow-creatures in distress. 

Q. 42. Is the pretence of health always a just excuse 
from fasting? 

A. Sickness is certainly a just excuse; but where the 
fear of hurting the health is alleged as a motive for being 
dispensed from this duty, it is much to be suspected that 
it is often a mere pretext, without reality, and that such 
fears are much greater than the danger. For there is 
daily experience of people who were for some time afraid 
of hurting their health by abstinence, and on that account 
always seeking dispensations, who, upon a fair trial, have 
found their health much improved by it; and, in the 
strictest religious orders, it is found that the members 


are generally the most healthy, and the longest livers; so 
true it is, as the word of God declares, that " by surfeiting 
many have perished, but he that is temperate shall pro- 
long life," Ecclus. xxxvii. 34; and, from this experience, 
many wise men of the world have even advised people 
to have one fasting day every week, merely on account 
of preserving their health. It is true indeed that, at the 
beginning of Lent, the change of diet, and the diminish- 
ing the usual quantity of food, may occasion a little 
uneasiness for a few days; but experience shows that 
this soon goes off, and no further hurt is felt from it. 
People therefore would do well to be very certain of the 
reality of this motive before they give way to it, lest what 
appears a just cause to them may prove a very insufficient 
one before God, and bring upon them the guilt of sin, 
besides depriving their souls of all the benefits of this 
holy exercise. 

Q. 43. Is the fear of being ridiculed or laughed at by 
others a sufiicient excuse for eating forbidden meat on 
days of fasting or abstinence ? 

A. The Scripture says, " There is a shame that 
bringeth sin, and there is a shame that bringeth glory 
and grace," Ecclus. iv. 25. When a person is ashamed 
to do an evil action contrary to his duty, and therefore 
abstains from doing it, that is " a shame which brings 
glory and grace ; " but when a man is ashamed of doing 
his duty, lest he may be laughed at or ridiculed by 
others, and therefore acts contrary to it, that is "a shame 
which bringeth sin," and this can never be an excuse. 
Of this last shame our Saviour says, " Whosoever shall 
be ashamed of Me, and of My words, in this sinful and 
adulterous generation, the Son of Man shall be ashamed 
of him when He -shall come in the glory of His Father, 
with the holy angels," Mark, viii. 38. Now there is no 


part of the words of Christ — that is, of His doctrine — 
which He more inculcates, than obedience to His 
Church ; and therefore, to be ashamed of obeying her, 
from fear of the ridicule of men, is a crime for which 
Christ will be ashamed of us at the last day. Besides, 
experience itself shows that, when a person transgresses 
this command of the Church in weak compliance with 
those of another religion, and in order to escape their 
ridicule, he only exposes himself to their contempt 
by acting contrary to his profession and principles : 
whereas, when on such occasions he stands firm to his 
duty, in their hearts they esteem and regard him the 

Q. 44. But what answer should be given to those 
who say, in the words of our Saviour, " It is not that 
which goeth into the mouth that defiles a man," and that 
flesh is as good upon Fridays and Saturdays as on any 
other day, and is as much the creature of God ? 

A. Ask those who say this, if eating the forbidden 
fruit defiled our first parents? or if the Jews would have 
been defiled if they had eaten leavened bread on for- 
bidden days ? Ask them what Almighty God means, 
when, after forbidding His people to eat several kinds of 
creatures, He concludes, " Do not defile your soul, nor 
touch ought thereof?" Levit. xi. 43. Ask them, if the 
first Christians would have been defiled if they had 
eaten blood, or things strangled, after the prohibition of 
the apostles? Ask, if all these forbidden meats were 
not as good in themselves as any others, and as much 
the creatures of God? But those who make this objec- 
tion only show their own gross ignorance ; for in eating 
flesh on forbidden days the sin does not consist in any- 
thing evil in the meat itself at those times more than at 
any other, but in disobedience to the command of God 


and His church, and in preferring our own unrestrained 
appetite, or the fear of the world, and what men will say, 
to the will of the most high God, and to the obedience 
which we owe to His commands. 

Section IH. 
Of the Third and Foiirth Commands of the Church. 

Q. 45. What is the third command of the Church ? 

A. To confess our sins, at least once a-year, to our own 

Q. 46. What is the fourth command of the Church ? 

A. To receive the Holy Communion at least once a-year, 
and that about Easter. 

Q. 47. What is the end and design of these two com- 
mands ? 

A. To direct us as to the time when we are obliged 
to obey the general command, given by our Lord Him- 
self, of approaching the sacraments of penance and holy 

Q. 48. Has Jesus Christ given a general command for 
all to approach the sacrament of penance ? 

A. He has : For, as He has instituted the sacrament 
of penance as the ordinary means by which our sins are 
to be forgiven, and we restored to the favour of God, it 
follows of course that He obliges all to receive this 
sacrament, otherwise their sins Avill not be forgiven. 
And though it be true that, when a person has no op- 
portunity of receiving it, perfect contrition, or repentance 
for sin, arising from a perfect love of God, and accom- 
panied with an earnest desire of receiving the sacrament 
itself, is sufficient to cancel the guilt of sin, yet this 


perfect contrition is so difificult to be attained, so seldom 
to be met with, and one is so apt to deceive himself 
regarding his own disposition, that the command of ap- 
proaching the sacrament obliges all, without exception ; 
the receiving it, when possible, being an express con- 
dition, without which there is no forgiveness. 

Q. 49. Has Jesus Christ given a general command for 
all to receive the holy communion ? 

A. He has : For He expressly says in the Gospel, 
" Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink 
His blood, you shall not have Hfe in you," John, vi. 54 ; 
consequently, all those who have come to the years of 
discretion, and are capable of discerning what they here 
receive, are commanded, under pain of eternal death, to 
partake of these Divine mysteries. 

Q. 50. How often are we obliged to obey these 
Divine commands of receiving the sacraments of penance 
and Holy communion ? 

A. This our Lord Himself has not determined, 
because different circumstances render it necessary to 
follow different practices, and therefore no general rule 
could be laid down to suit all times. This He left to be 
done by His Church, which could vary her rules as 
circumstances might require. Accordingly we find that, 
in the primitive ages, the practice was to receive the 
Holy Communion every day ; afterwards it came to be 
every Sunday ; in process of time, as the fervour of 
charity began to wax colder, it became less frequent, 
and at last the Church, in the general council of 
Lateran, made a decree, by which she obliges all her 
children, who are capable, to receive these Holy Sacra- 
ments of Penance and the Eucharist at least once in the 
year, and that the Communion be about the Easter time, 
in memory of the great Paschal solemnity. So that these 


commands of the Church only point out the particular 
times at which we are to comply with the general precept 
given by Jesus Christ Himself. 

Q. 51. Would it be a grievous sin to neglect our Easter 
duties ? 

A, Most certainly it would be a grievous mortal sin 
to omit them through negligence, and without a just 
cause; because it would be a breach of the general 
command given to all by Jesus Christ, and also of the 
command of His Church, which obliges us to put that 
general command of Jesus Christ in execution about the 
time of Easter. 

Q. 52. What if a person be not properly prepared to 
perform these duties at the Easter time? 

A. It is always in his power, with the help of God's 
grace and the assistance of his pastor, to prepare himself 
for them; and, therefore, the same command that obliges 
him to perform them, obliges him also to prepare him- 
self: so that his neglecting to do so is itself a sin, and a 
continuance in the state of sin. 

Q. 53. But what if a person endeavours to prepare 
himself, but cannot do so within the appointed time ? 

A. He must then follow the advice of his pastor, who 
has power to defer his communion till he be properly 
prepared ; and, provided he be truly sincere in his en- 
deavours, this delay will be no fault in him. 

Section IV. 

Of the Fifth Command of the Church. 

Q. 54. What is the fifth command of the Church? 

A. To pay tithes to our pastors. 

Q. 55. What is the end and design of this command? 


A. It is to direct the Christian people in discharging 
their duty of supplying the temporal necessities of their 
pastors, who dedicate their time and labour to the 
spiritual good of the souls committed to their care. 

Q. 56. From what does this obligation arise? 

A. From the law of nature, and from the positive law 
of God, both in the Old and New Testament. 

Q. 57. How does it arise from the law of nature ? 

A. This will easily appear from considering what a 
pastor of souls is ; for a pastor of souls is one chosen by 
a special vocation of the Divine Providence, and ordained 
for men in the things that " appertain to God, that he 
may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins," Heb. v. i ; 
that is, he is one whose business is to attend to the 
immediate service of God, and to the care of the souls 
of the people committed to his charge. The duties of 
his vocation are many and weighty. He is obliged to 
offer up daily prayers and frequent sacrifices for both 
these ends ; to instruct the ignorant ; to preach the 
Gospel ; to assist the sick and dying ; to comfort the 
afflicted ; to administer the sacraments, and to be ready 
at all times, both by night and by day, to answer the 
calls of his flock, when their spiritual wants claim his 
assistance. That nothing may occupy his time or with- 
draw his mind from these important duties, he is pro- 
hibited from marriage, and binds himself by vow not to 
enter into the married state, lest the cares and solici- 
tudes attending it should prove a hindrance to what he 
owes to God and his people. He is also strictly for- 
bidden to follow any worldly business, trade, or employ- 
ment; for " no man," says St Paul, "being a soldier of 
God, entangleth himself with secular business, that he 
may please Him to Whom he hath engaged himself," 
2 Tim. ii. 4 ; because, were he to engage in these, he 


could neither attend to the service of God, as his office 
requires, nor to the necessary care of souls. 

When, therefore, a person, following the vocation of 
God, engages in this sacred state, and from charity and 
zeal for the salvation of souls dedicates himself entirely 
to the spiritual service of his people, how is he to live ? 
how is he to be maintained ? He is not an angel : he 
is composed, like other men, of a frail body, which must 
be supported. His whole time and attention are occu- 
pied with his duties to God and his flock. It follows, 
therefore, from the very light of nature itself, that those 
who benefit spiritually by his labours are bound in jus- 
tice to supply his temporal necessities. And, indeed, 
if magistrates and soldiers, though possessing private 
means, are justly entitled to be supported by the people 
whose temporal welfare they promote, how much more 
justly are the pastors of souls entitled to a like support, as 
they labour for the eternal happiness of others, and are 
deprived of every means of gaining a livelihood, that they 
may attend with greater diligence to the supreme end of 
their calling ? Hence St Paul makes use of this very 
argument, and says, " Who serveth as a soldier at any 
time at his own charges ? who planteth a vineyard, and 
eateth not the fruit thereof? who feedeth a flock, and 
eateth not of the milk of the flock ? " i Cor. ix. 7. 

Q. 58. How does this obligation appear from the 
command of God in the old law? 

A. It is laid down there in the strongest terms; for 
no sooner did Almighty God institute a religion among 
His chosen people, than He spoke to Moses, saying 
" Take the Levites out of the midst of the children of 
Israel, and thou shalt purify them." Then, after describ- 
ing the rite of their purification, he says, " And Aaron 
shall offer the Levites as a gift in the sight of the Lord, 


from the children of Israel, that they may serve in His 
ministry . . . and thou shalt separate them from the 
midst of the children of Israel, to be Mine ... to serve 
Me for Israel in the tabernacle of the covenant, and 
to pray for them," Num. viii. 6, 11, 14, ig. Here we 
see the whole tribe of Levi chosen, by a special vocation 
of God Himself, for His immediate service, to be the 
priests and pastors of the people. Being thus dedicated 
to Almighty God, He would not permit them to have 
any portion, possession, or inheritance in the land with 
the other tribes; for "the Lord said to Aaron, You shall 
possess nothing in their land, neither shall you have 
a portion among them. I am thy portion and inherit- 
ance in the midst of the children of Israel," Num. 
xviii. 20. 

How then did He provide for their maintenance? 
He made a law that the tenth part of everything belong- 
ing to the people should be consecrated and devoted to 
God. He it was that gave them all that they possessed, 
and He required that they should give back a tenth part 
of the whole, as a tribute to Him. "All tithes of the 
land," says He, "whether of corn, or the fruits of trees, 
are the Lord's, ... of all the tithes of oxen, or of sheep, 
or of goats, that pass under the shepherd's rod, every 
tenth that cometh shall be sanctified to the Lord," Levit. 
xxvii. 30-32. The first-fruits also of all their substance 
He reserved for Himself: "Thou shalt give me," says 
He, " the first-born of thy oxen and sheep," Exo. xxii. 
30; and " Thou shalt carry the first-fruits of the corn of 
thy ground into the house of the Lord thy God," Exo. 
xxiii. 19 ; and He was so strict in demanding this tribute 
from them, that He forbade them to taste these things 
until they had offered their first-fruits to God : " You 
shall not eat either bread, or parched corn, or frumenty 


of the harvest, until the day that you shall offer thereof 
unto your God. It is a precept for ever throughout your 
generations, and all your dwellings," Lev. xxiii. 14. This 
was the portion which God reserved for Himself; and all 
this He ordered to be given to His priests and Levites, 
who were His portion, from among the people, as a sup- 
port and maintenance to them for their service. " And 
the Lord said to Aaron, Behold, I have given thee the 
charge of My first-fruits : All things that are sanctified by 
the children of Israel I have delivered to thee, and to 
thy sons, for the priestly office, by everlasting ordinances, 
. . . and I have given to the sons of Levi all the tithes 
of Israel in possession for the ministry' wherewith they 
serve Me in the tabernacles of the covenant," Num. xviii. 
8-21. And so jealous was He of this right, which 
He had reserved for Himself, that He declares any in- 
fringement of it to be an afflicting of God Himself, which 
He would punish, by sending the curse of poverty ; and, 
on the contrary, assures His people that, if they be exact 
in giving Him what thus belonged to Him, He would 
bless them with plenty of all good things, even to abund- 
ance. "Shall a man afflict God?" says He, "for you 
afflict Me. And you have said, Wherein do we afflict 
Thee ? In tithes and in first-fruits : and you are cursed 
with want. And you afflict jNIe, even the whole nation 
of you. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that 
there may be meat in My house ; and try Me in this, 
saith the Lord, if I open not to you the flood-gates of 
Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, even to abund- 
ance," Mai. iii. 8. 

Q. 59. How does this obligation appear from the 
Gospel ? 

A. We have seen above that St Paul makes use of the 
argument drawn from the law of nature to enforce this 


duty. But he does not stop there ; he proceeds in the 
same chapter to show that it is an express command of 
God, and a law of Jesus Christ under the Gospel, that 
the pastors of His Church should be maintained by their 
flock. " Know ye not," says he, " that they who work 
in the Holy place eat the things that are of the Holy 
place, and they that serve the altar partake with the 
altar? So also hath the Lord ordained, that they who 
preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel," i Cor. ix. 
13. Here we see the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of His 
apostle, declares that this duty is ordained by Jesus 
Christ ; and, in fact, we find it expressly enjoined by 
Him, when He sent the apostles to preach the Gospel to 
the Jews : " Go," says He ; " behold, I send you as lambs 
among wolves ; carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes, 
. . . into whatever house you enter, ... in the same 
house remain, eating and drinking such things as they 
have ; for the labourer is worthy of his hire," Luke, x. 3, 
5, 7. In which words He commands this duty, and lays 
down the natural reason of justice on which it is estab- 
lished. Hence St Paul repeats the same obligation on 
different occasions. Thus, " if the Gentiles have been 
made partakers of their spiritual things, they ought also, 
in carnal things, to minister unto them,'' Rom. xv. 27 ; 
and " Let him that is instructed in the Word communi- 
cate to him that instructeth him in all good things," Gal. 
vi. 6. Also, " Let the priests that rule well be esteemed 
worthy of double honour, especially they who labour 
in the Word and doctrine ; for scripture saith. Thou 
shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, and 
the labourer is worthy of his hire," i Tim. v. 17. This 
scripture he also cites for the same purpose to the Corin- 
thians, and applies it thus, " Does God care for the oxen ? 
or doth He say this for our sakes ? For these things are 


written for our sakes." And a little after he concludes, 
" If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great 
matter if we reap your carnal things?" i Cor. ix. ii. 
Thus we see how strongly the law of nature and the 
Avritten law of God, both in the Old and New Testa- 
ment, inculcate and enforce this duty. 

Q. 60. How then does this law of the Church inter- 
pose in it ? 

A. This duty was so liberally and so cheerfully com- 
plied with, in the primitive ages, that no further authority 
was necessary to enforce it ; and the necessities of the 
pastors of the Church were amply supplied by the 
voluntary offerings of the people ; but, in process ot 
time, the charity of many waxing cold, and a worldly 
spirit springing up, they became remiss in the observ- 
ance of this duty, and as our Saviour had only ordained, 
in general, that " those who preach the Gospel should 
live by the Gospel," without specifying any particular 
amount to be ' given for this purpose ; therefore the 
Church interposed her authority, and commanded a 
certain portion, called tithes, to be contributed by the 
people for the proper support of their pastors. This 
law was confirmed and promulgated by the civil powers 
of all Christian nations ; some in one form, some in 
another, according to different circumstances ; so that 
the duty of supporting pastors is established by all laws, 
Divine and human, civil and ecclesiastical. 

Q. 61. Is this law strictly observed in the Church? 

A. It is universally observed in all countries where 
the Catholic Religion is established ; but where it is not, 
and especially where it is exposed to persecution, this 
duty is not enforced. In such places, the pastors study 
more the salvation of souls than their own worldly 
interest ; and content themselves with what Providence 


provides, the voluntary benefactions and offerings which 
it pleases God to inspire their people to bestow. In this 
they imitate the example of that great model of apostolic 
men, St Paul, who after having established the right of 
pastors to be maintained by their flocks, declared, how- 
ever, that he himself has never exacted this right, nor 
does he write for the purpose of doing so, but only to 
instruct the faithful, "So hath the Lord also ordained, 
that they who preach the Gospel should live by the 
Gospel ; " " but I have used none of these things, neither 
have I WTitten these, that they should be so done unto 
me ; for it is good for me to die rather than to make my 
glory void," i Cor. ix. 15. 

Section V. 
Of the Sixth Command of the Church. 

Q. 62. What is the sixth command of the Church? 

A. Not to solemnise marriage at certain times, nor to 
marry within forbiddeti degrees of kindred. 

Q. 63. What are the times in which it is forbidden to 
solemnise marriage ? 

A. From the first Sunday of Advent to the Epiphany; 
and from the first day of Lent, or Ash Wednesday, to 
Low Sunday, both included. 

Q. 64. Why does the Church forbid her children to 
solemnise marriage at these times ? 

A. Because Advent and Lent are times set apart for 
humiliation, penance, and prayer ; and therefore it is 
quite contrary to the spirit of those times to employ 
them in feasting, drinking, and dancing, which generally 
accompany the solemnising of marriage. 


Q. 65. Would it be a sin to be present at marriage- 
feasts in these forbidden times of Advent and Lent ? 

A. It would : because St Paul declares, that not only 
they are worthy of death who do things forbidden by the 
law, but also they who consent to those who do them. 
Now, to be present at such meetings, in these forbidden 
times, is not only to consent, but also to encourage 
them ; besides the offence and scandal given to others. 

Q. 66. Why does the Church forbid marriage between 
those who are within certain degrees of kindred ? 

A. Nature itself has an abhorrence to marriage-con- 
nections between persons nearly related in blood, which 
nothing but absolute necessity could excuse, as was the 
case at the first propagation of mankind ; but afterwards, 
Almighty God made several laws forbidding such near 
connections among His chosen people : even the hea- 
thens themselves, from mere natural feeling, had an 
aversion to them. The Church, therefore, enforces this 
dictate of God and nature, by the particular law she 
has made for this purpose. For, as the light of nature 
only points out, in general, that people who are nearly 
connected in blood should not marry, the Church 
determines the particular degree to which this pro- 
hibition is extended, and forbids marriage as far as 
the fourth degree of kindred, counting in a direct line 
from the common stock, the father and mother, in which 
the parties are united. 

Q. 67. How is this to be understood ? 

A. The father and mother are the common stock; 
their children — to wit, brothers and sisters — are in the 
first degree of kindred, because they are one degree 
removed from this common stock ; the children of 
brothers and sisters, or cousins-german, are in the second 
degree of kindred, because they are two steps or degrees 


from the common stock ; the children of cousins-ger- 
man are in the third degree of kindred, because they 
are three degrees from the common stock ; and the 
children of these last are in the fourth degree of kin- 
dred, being four steps from the common stock — that is, 
the same father and mother. Within these degrees the 
laws of the Church prohibit marriage ; as also between 
those who are connected by affinity from lawful marriage 
within the same degrees. 

Q. 68. What do you mean by affinity from lawful 
marriage ? 

A. The Scripture declares that husband and wife " are 
no longer two, but one flesh," Mat. xix. 5 ; consequently 
the blood relations of the one become equally connected 
with the other ; and this connection which the husband 
contracts with the blood relations of his wife, and which 
the wife contracts with those of her husband, is called 

Q. 69. Is the same connection contracted by cohabita- 
tion between people not married, and the relations of 
each other ? 

A. It is ; for the Scripture says, " Know ye not that 
he who is joined to a harlot is made one body; for they 
shall be, says he, two in one flesh ? " i Cor. vi. 16. 

Q. 70. Does the prohibition of marriage extend to 
the fourth degree of affinity from cohabitation without 
marriage ? 

A. No ; it only extends to the second degree. 

Q. 71. Why is the prohibition of marriage extended 
to the fourth degree of kindred ? 

A. Chiefly for two reasons : (i.) That people being 
obliged to marry at a greater distance from their own 
blood relations, marriage connections may be more ex- 
tended, and different famihes more united in the bonds 

VOL. I. R 


of human society and Christian charity. (2.) Because 
persons nearly connected, being generally upon familiar 
terms, and frequently in each other's company, there is a 
danger lest the hope of marriage might prove a tempta- 
tion and encouragement to unlawful familiarities and 
crimes ; but all hopes of marriage being cut off, the 
most effectual bar is put to such conduct. 

Q. 72. What is the effect of this prohibition of mar- 
riage between the above-named relations ? 

A. It renders marriage between them «;/// and void in 
the sight of God ; so that, were two persons within the 
prohibited degrees to marry, though they should live as 
husband and wife, and even be esteemed such in the 
eyes of men, yet before God they would be in a state of 
fornication and incest. 

Q. 73. How can the prohibition of the Church hinder 
the validity of marriage, if the parties consent between 
themselves ? 

A. In the same way that this is done by the civil 
power; for in regard to the contract of marriage, both 
the Church and the State can impose conditions which, 
if not complied with, render the contract null and void 
in the eye of the law. Thus in certain countries 
children cannot legally contract marriage without the 
consent of parents, and in England the presence of the 
parish clergyman of the Established Church is required 
by law. In both cases where the condition is not com- 
plied with, the parties are deprived of all the legal and 
civil benefits of marriage. In like manner, by the laws 
of the Church of Christ, unless the parties be beyond 
the forbidden degrees, the marriage is null and void 
before God, by whose authority these laws are made. 

Q. 74. Does the Church never dispense with this pro- 
hibition ? 


A. The laws of the Church are made for the edifica- 
tion, not for the injury of her children ; therefore, when 
there are just and solid reasons, she dispenses with the 
prohibition in the third and fourth degrees, but very 
seldom in the second, and not without the strongest 

Q. 75. To whom does it belong to grant such dis- 
pensations ? 

A. It properly belongs to the Head of the Church, 
and to others by commission and authority from him. 

Q. 76. Have priests, who are the immediate pastors 
of the people, this authority ? 

A. In countries where the Catholic religion is exposed 
to persecution, and the number of the faithful but small, 
their immediate pastors have this commission communi- 
cated to them by their bishops, with regard to their own 
flock, in the third and fourth degrees ; but to dispense in 
the second degree, or cousins-german, is reserv'ed to the 
bishops only. 

Q. 77. Why are the priests empowered to do this in 
the third and fourth degree ? 

A. Because in such countries the reasons for doing so 
more frequently occur, especially that of encouraging the 
faithful to marry with one another, which it were to be 
wished were always done, for many strong reasons. 

Q. 78. Why are the dispensations in the second de- 
gree reserv-ed to the bishops c ily ? 

A. Because the Church has a particular aversion to 
the marriage of persons so nearly related, and because 
experience shows that such marriages seldom or ever 
prove fortunate ; and therefore the power of dispensing 
in them is reserved to the bishops, that the people may 
from this conceive the greater aversion to engage in them, 
and that the greater difficulty of obtaining the dispensa- 


tion may deter them from attempting it ; for it is expressly 
enjoined to the bishops not to grant dispensations in the 
second degree, except for the most urgent reasons. 

Q. 79. Would it be a grievous sin for two cousins- 
german to marry without a dispensation ? 

A. It would be a very grievous mortal sin, and the 
marriage itself would be null and void. 

Q. 80. If a bishop should give such dispensation with- 
out a just cause, would it be valid ? 

A. He would himself commit a grievous sin in grant- 
ing it without a just cause, and the dispensation itself 
would be of no effect before God. 

Q. 81. Is there anything more to be observed con- 
cerning the commands of God and His Church? 

A. What we have seen is sufficient to give us a general 
idea of the most necessary things our faith teaches con- 
cerning the laws of God. But there are numberless 
things to be considered under the head of each par- 
ticular duty, of which we ought to endeavour to acquire 
as perfect a knowledge as possible, by daily and serious 
meditation on this holy law ; that by so doing we may 
be the more efficaciously excited, and the more power- 
fully enabled to keep it perfectly, and effectually to avoid 
the most dreadful of all evils, the transgression of the 
law of God by sin. 




Q. I. TT yTHATissin? 

V V A. Sin is any thought, word, deed, or 
omission against the law of God. 

Q. 2. How is sin in general divided? 

A. Into original sin and actual sin. 

Q. 3. What is original sin? 

A. It is the sin of our first parents, under the guilt of 
which Ave are conceived and come into this world — as 
we have seen above, chap. v. Q. 30. 

Q. 4. What is actual sin ? 

A. Actual sin is that which v/e commit ourselves. 

Q. 5. Who are guilty of actual sin? 

A. Those who willingly commit or consent to any 
thought, word, or deed which the law of God forbids, 
or who willingly omit any duty which the law of God 

Q. 6. How is actual sin divided ? 

A. Into mortal sin and venial sin. 

Section I. 
Of Mortal Sin. 

Q. 7. What is mortal sin ? 

A. Mortal sin is a grievous transgression of the law, 


whether this grievousness arise from the nature of the 
thing done, or from the circumstances in which it 
is done, or from the will of the Lawgiver, Who strictly 
requires the observance of what is commanded, as 
was the case when our first parents ate the forbidden 

Q. 8. What are the effects of mortal sin ? 

A. It banishes the grace of God from our souls, 
renders us hateful and abominable in the sight of God, 
and worthy of eternal punishment. For this reason it is 
called mortal^ because it kills the soul in this life by 
depriving it of the sanctifying grace of God, which is the 
spiritual life of the soul, and condemns it to eternal 
death in the life to come. 

Q. 9. Is mortal sin a great evil ? 

A. It is the greatest of all evil, because infinitely 
opposed to the infinite goodness of God. It is a bottom- 
less pit, which no created understanding can fathom ; 
for as none but God Himself can fully comprehend His 
o\w\ infinite goodness, so none but God Himself can 
perfectly comprehend the infinite malice and enormity of 
this opposite evil. It is the parent both of the devil and 
of hell ; for hell was only made for mortal sin, and Lucifer 
was an angel of light till he was transformed into a devil 
by mortal sin. 

Q. 10. From what does the malice of mortal sin 
chiefly appear? 

A. From several considerations : (i.) From the great- 
ness of the injury done to God; (2.) From the hatred 
with which God abhors it; (3.) From the severity with 
which He punishes it, even in this world ; (4.) From 
the ingratitude it involves against Jesus Christ ; (5.) From 
the sad effects it produces in our souls in this life ; and 
(6.) From the loss of heaven, of which it deprives us. 

OF SIN. 263 

and the torments of hell to which it condemns us in the 
life to come. 

Q. II. How does the malignity of sin appear from the 
injury done to God ? 

A. Because it strikes directly at God Himself; it is a 
rebellion and high treason against Him, and involves a 
most injurious contempt of all His divine perfections. 
The greatness of its malignity in this view will appear 
from the following considerations, (i.) God is a being 
of infinite perfection, goodness, dignity, and majesty, 
infinitely worthy in Himself of all possible honour, love, 
and obedience ; in comparison of Him all created beings 
are a mere nothing. When, therefore, such wretched 
w'onns of the earth as we are presume to off"end and 
insult this God of infinite dignity, by transgressing His 
commands, and preferring ourselves or any creature to 
Him, the malice of such conduct is in a manner infinite, 
for we find among ourselves that the grievousness of any 
injury always increases in proportion to the dignity ot 
the person offended above the one who injures him. 
An injury which would be thought of very small conse- 
quence if done by a person to his equal, would be 
thought a great offence if done by him to a magistrate, 
still more if done to a prince or peer of the realm, and 
yet more so if done to the King's majesty. Seeing, 
therefore, that the dignity and majesty of God are 
infinitely above all creatures, an injury done to Him must 
increase in proportion to His dignity, and in this respect 
be of an infinite malice. 

(2.) God is our Creator, Who gave us our very being ; 
our souls and bodies, and all our powers and faculties, 
are the work of His hands, consequently He has an 
indisputable and unalienable tide to all our service. He 
is our First beginning and Last end. Who made us, and 


made us for Himself, and for His own glory. He is our 
Father, to Whom we owe infinitely more than to our 
natural parents. He is the sovereign Lord of us and of 
all creatures, the King of the whole universe. Who has 
the most absolute dominion over us, and can do wdth us 
whatsoever He pleases. We depend totally upon Him for 
our continual preservation, and for everything else that 
we possess and enjoy ; when we had lost ourselves by 
sin He redeemed us and bought us with a great price, 
even His own most precious blood. Each of these titles 
gives God a supreme right to all our honour, love, and 
obedience, which it were the height of injustice to refuse, 
but sin at once breaks through them all, and most sacri- 
legiously alienates from God what is so strictly His. 
Parents, what do you feel in your own breasts when your 
children insult you, and despise your will? Masters, 
what is the indignation of your hearts when your servants 
disregard your orders, and reproach you ? Kings, what 
feeling have you of the injury you receive when your 
subjects rebel against you ? Judge, then, how great must 
be the injury done to God by sin, to Him in \^^lom all 
these titles are united, in a manner infinitely stronger 
than is possible between man and man ! Hear how^ He 
complains of it Himself, "The son honoureth the father, 
and the servant his master; if, then, I be a Father, 
where is My honour? If I be a Master, w^here is My 
fear? saith the Lord of hosts," Mai. i. 6. Moses also 
says of his people, " They have sinned against Him, and 
are none of His children in their filth ; they are a wicked 
and perverse generation. Is this the return thou makest 
to the Lord, O foolish and senseless people ? Is not He 
thy Father, that hath possessed thee, and made thee, and 
created thee ? " Deut. xxxii. 5. 

(3.) God is our only true Friend, our best and kindest 

OF SIN. 265 

benefactor, Who has loved us with an eternal love, and 
is every hour bestowing the greatest favours on us ; all 
we have, all we are, all we expect, is the pure effect of 
His goodness and love. To injure, then, so loving a 
friend, to insult and outrage Him by sin, involves the 
malice of basest ingratitude, of which God thus com- 
plains : " For even the man of My peace, in whom I 
trusted, who ate My bread, hath greatly supplanted Me," 
Ps. xl. 10. 

(4.) To all the above ties of justice and gratitude, by 
which we are bound to love and serve God, is superadded 
that of the sacred vow of baptism, by which we were 
solemnly dedicated to Him, and engaged to His service, 
and became heirs of His kingdom, Avhich vow is also 
broken by sin augmenting its malice by the basest 

(5.) Let us consider now the nature of sin itself, as 
opposed to all those sacred ties, and we shall clearly see 
how inconceivable a malice it must include. For by sin 
we withdraw ourselves from this Sovereign Good ; we 
contemn and despise Him in the highest degree, by pre- 
ferring our own will and passions to His Divine will ; we 
insult His supreme dominion over us ; we are guilty of 
the greatest injustice, ingratitude, and perfidy towards 
Him ; we undervalue all His promises, laugh at His 
threats ; we esteem the perishable riches, vain honours, 
and filthy pleasures of this world, more than Him, our 
Supreme Good; and we prefer the devil himself, and 
pleasing him, before the God of infinite goodness who 
made us ! 

Q. 12. How does the malice of sin appear from the 
hatred ^\dth which God abhors it ? 

A. From a very simple reason ; for as God is a God 
of infinite goodness, He must necessarily love everything 


that is good, and cannot possibly hate anything but 
what justly deserves to be hated : now the hatred which 
God bears to sin is inconceivable, and expressed in the 
strongest terms in His Holy Scripture ; consequently sin 
must be a monstrous evil when a God of infinite good- 
ness so violently hates and detests it. " Thou art not a 
God," says David, "that wiliest iniquity; neither shall 
the wicked dwell near Thee, nor shall the unjust abide 
before Thy eyes : Thou hatest all the workers of ini- 
quity," Ps. V. 6. " To God the wicked and his wicked- 
ness are hateful alike," Wis. xiv. 9. " The way of the 
wicked is an abomination to the Lord," Prov. xv. 9. 
" Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil ; Thou canst not 
look upon iniquity," Hab. i. 13. " Evil thoughts are an 
abomination to the Lord," Prov. xv. 26. "Every proud 
man is an abomination to the Lord," Prov. xvi. 5. And 
the prophets, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel, are full of 
the like expressions. 

Q. 13. How does the malice of sin appear from the 
severity with which God punishes it in this world ? 

A. Because, as God is a God of infinite justice, it is 
impossible He should punish sin more than it deserves ; 
nay, as in this life His infinite mercy is above His jus- 
tice. He generally punishes it in the present time less 
than it deserves. Nothing, therefore, can show us more 
clearly the enormity of sin than the severity with which 
He pursues it, even in this world, of which there are 
several very remarkable instances in Holy Scripture, (i.) 
One sin in a moment stripped our first parents, and all 
their posterity, of that original justice, innocence, and 
happiness in which they were created, and of all the 
gifts of Divine grace with which they were adorned ; it 
wounded them in all the powers of the soul, it gave 
them up to the tyranny of Satan, it cast them out of 

OF SIN. 267 

Paradise, condemned them both to a temporal and 
eternal death, and, in the mean time, let loose upon 
them that innumerable host of evils, both of soul and 
body, under which their posterity groan to this day. (2.) 
" God, seeing that the wickedness of men was great on 
the earth, and that all the thought of their heart Avas bent 
upon evil at all times, it repented Him that He had 
made man upon the earth. And being inwardly touched 
with sorrow of heart. He said, I vdW destroy man whom 
I have created from the face of the earth,"' Gen. vi. 5 ; 
and accordingly He destroyed the whole world, in pun- 
ishment of sin, by the waters of the Deluge. (3.) AVhen 
the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was multiplied, and 
became exceeding grievous, the Lord could not bear it 
longer, because it cried to heaven for vengeance : " And 
the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomon-ah fire and 
brimstone from the Lord out of heaven, and He de- 
stroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the 
inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from 
the earth," Gen. xix. 24. (4.) When Cora and his com- 
panions rebelled against the authority of Moses and 
Aaron, and claimed to themselves the priesthood, Al- 
mighty God was so displeased with them for this crime 
that He punished them in a most dreadful manner. For 
" the earth broke asunder under their feet, and opening 
her mouth, devoured them, with their tents and all their 
substance ; and they went down alive into hell," Num. 
xvi. 31. Many other such examples are found in Scrip- 
ture, both regarding the whole nation of the Israelites, 
and also many other particular persons, which show, to a 
demonstration, the great and inconceivable malignity of 
sin, from the severe punishments with which a just and 
merciful God pursues it, even in this world. But, above 
all, the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ clearly mani- 


fest this truth ; for in them we see the Divine justice of 
God the Father inflicting the most dreadful torments 
upon His own innocent Son, for sins not His own, but 
ours, which He had taken upon Himself in order to 
satisfy our offended Creator. What, then, must be the 
enormous malignity of the monster sin, which a just and 
merciful God punishes in so unheard-of a manner in His 
own innocent Son ? 

Q. 14. How does the malice of sin appear from the 
ingratitude it involves against Jesus Christ ? 

A. The obligations we lie under to Jesus Christ are 
immense, and beyond conception. Without Him we 
must have been eternally miserable : He could in all 
justice have left us to our unhappy fate ; He had no 
need of us, He was perfectly happy in Himself; He 
could have created thousands of worlds to serve Him, 
though we had never existed ; there was no force 
obliging Him to do anything for us ; He was perfectly 
free to do as He pleased. Out of pure mercy, then, 
and compassion for our miseries. He undertook to save 
us ; and who can conceive what this undertaking cost 
Him ? Count one by one His dreadful torments, from 
His agony in the garden till He expires upon the Cross; 
see the God of heaven, made man, agonising in the 
garden, buffeted, blindfolded, spit upon, and the most 
ignominious, insulting, and blasphemous things done 
against Him ; see Him scourged at a pillar, tormented 
with a crown of thorns, and nailed to a disgraceful cross; 
consider the humility, the meekness, the patience, and, 
above all, the infinite love for our souls with which He 
bears all these severe afflictions ; behold to what an 
excess His love for us goes, when He bows down His 
head and expires upon the Cross for our salvation. 
Does not such immense love, shown in so endearing a 

OF SIN. 269 

manner, and tending not only to free us from eternal 
damnation, but to procure for us everlasting joy and 
happiness, demand from us every possible return of 
gratitude and love that we can make to such a bene- 
factor? What shall we say, then, of the monstrous 
ingratitude of sin, which not only refuses to make Him 
any return, but takes a fiendish pleasure in wantonly 
renewing all His sufferings, and, as His Holy Word 
expresses it, " crucifying again to themselves the Son of 
God, and making a mockery of Him," Heb. vi. 6. 
Hear how He complains of this by His prophet David : 
" If My enemy had reviled Me, I verily would have 
borne with it : and if he that hated Me had spoken 
gi-eat things against Me, I would perhaps have hid 
Myself from him ; but thou, a man of one mind, My 
friend and My familiar, who didst take sweetmeats 
together with Me, in the house of God we walked with 
consent!" Ps. liv. 13. How aptly do all these ex- 
pressions point to Christians, who are the familiar 
friends of Jesus Christ, feast at His table, attend Him 
in the house of God, &c. ! What a monster of ingrati- 
tude, then, is sin in a Christian ! 

Q. 15. How does the malice of sin appear from its 
effects on our souls in this life ? 

A. The effects which sin produces in our souls are 
many, and miserable indeed, showing to a demonstration 
the horrid malignancy of that fatal poison which causes 
them. To understand them properly, we must consider, 
(i.) That a soul in the state of grace is beautiful, like 
an angel, and a delightful object in the eyes of God 
and of His saints. Such a soul, in the language of 
the Scripture, is a Queen, the daughter of a King, the 
spouse of the Lamb, and her beauty is thus described : 
" The Queen stood on Thy right hand in gilded cloth- 


ing, surrounded with variety. Hearken, O daughter, and 
see, and indine thy ear, — and the King shall greatly 
desire thy beauty ; for He is the Lord thy God — all the 
glory of the King's daughter is within in golden borders, 
clothed round with varieties," Ps. xliv. lo. See also the 
beauty of the spouse of Christ described throughout the 
whole fourth chapter of the Song of Solomon : and, 
among the rest, he says, " How beautiful art thou, My 
love, how beautiful art thou ! — thou art all fair, O my 
love, and there is not a spot in thee," verse i, 7. And 
in the Revelations it is said of the spouse of the Lamb : 
" It is granted her that she should clothe herself with 
fine linen, glittering and white ; for the fine linen are 
the justifications of the saints," Rev. xix. 8. What a 
noble idea does all this give us of the heavenly beauty 
of a soul in the state of grace ! What an esteem and 
value ought we to put on that happy state ! But no 
sooner does mortal sin enter into such a soul than im- 
mediately all this heavenly beauty is lost, the grace of 
God is banished from her, and she becomes an object 
of horror and detestation in the sight of God and of His 
saints, hideous and loathsome as the devils : " He that 
doth these things is abominable before God," Deut. 
xxii. 5. " How much more abominable and unprofitable 
is man that drinketh iniquity like water?" Job, xv. 16. 
" They are corrupted, and become abominable in iniqui- 
ties," Ps. lii. 2. " A perverse heart is abominable to the 
Lord," Prov. xi. 20. " They are become abominable, 
as those things were which they loved," Hos. ix. 10. 
What a malignant monster, then, must sin be ? 

(2.) In consequence of this beauty, and of the love 
which God has for a soul in the state of grace. He 
raises her up to the exalted dignity of being a child of 
God, a spouse of Jesus Christ, a temple of the Holy 

OF SIN. 271 

Ghost ; so that by grace she is mtimately united with 
God, Who dwells in her, in a most especial manner. 
" Know ye not," says St Paul, " that you are the temple 
of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? — 
the temple of God is holy, which ye are," i Cor. iii. 16. 
" If any one loves Me," says Jesus Christ, "he will keep 
My word ; and My Father will love him, and We will 
come to him, and will make Our abode with him," John, 
xiv. 23. What an exalted dignity is this I what happi- 
ness to have God Himself dwelling in us as our Father, 
our Friend, our Spouse, our Protector ! " If God be 
for us, who is against us?" Rom. viii. 31. But, alas! 
the moment such a soul consents to mortal sin she 
loses at once all this dignity and happiness ; the grace 
of God is banished from her; God Himself forsakes 
her, and she becomes a slave of Satan, a vessel of filth 
and corruption, the habitation of unclean spirits. What 
a dismal change ! what a sad misfortune to be deprived 
of her God ! " Woe to them," says Almighty God, 
"when I shall depart from them," Hos. ix. 12. What 
a malignant monster is sin, to cause such a direful 

(3.) The grace of God in the soul is " a living water, 
springing up to eternal life," John, iv. 14. It is an in- 
exhaustible source of heavenly riches, which sanctifies all 
the good works of the just man, and makes them merit 
eternal life. It is that bond of union by which we abide 
in Jesus, and He in us. Now " he that abideth in Me, 
and I in him, the same beareth much fruit," says our 
Blessed Redeemer, John, xv. 5. When, therefore, a soul 
continues for a space of time in this happy state, what 
immense treasures may she not lay up for eternity ! But 
if, after she has long exercised herself in holy works, and 
laid up stores of riches in heaven by their means, she 


should at last fall into one mortal sin, such is the 
venomous poison of that monster, that in an instant it 
consumes all the treasures of her past virtuous life, and 
reduces her to a deplorable state of the most abject 
poverty. This God Himself declares in these strong 
terms : '' If the just man turns himself away from his 
justice, and do iniquity, according to all the abomina- 
tions which the wicked man useth to work, shall he 
live ? All his justices which he had done shall not be 
remembered. In the prevarication by which he hath 
prevaricated, and in his sin which he hath committed, in 
them he shall die," Ezech. xviii. 24. To such as these 
our Saviour says, " Thou sayest I am rich, I am made 
wealthy, and I have need of nothing ; and thou know- 
est not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, 
and blind, and naked," Rev. iii. 17. 

(4.) The grace of God is the spiritual life of the soul, 
and is preserved by innocence and a holy life; according 
to that text, " Keep the law and counsel, and there shall 
be life to thy soul, and grace to thy mouth," Prov. iii. 21; 
and the Wisdom of God says, " He that shall find Me 
shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord," 
Prov. viii. 35 ; and as the human person is beautiful 
and comely while in life, so a soul that is alive by the 
grace of God is beautiful and comely in His sight. But 
the moment sin enters the soul, the life of the soul is 
destroyed. It wounds, hurts, and kills the soul, and 
renders her more hideous and loathsome in the eyes of 
God than a dead carcase is in the eyes of man. " He 
that shall sin against Me," says the Wisdom of God, 
"shall hurt his own soul ; all that hate Me love death," 
Prov. viii. 36. "When concupiscence hath conceived, 
it bringeth forth sin ; but sin, when it is completed, 
begetteth death," James, i. 15; wherefore "flee from 

OF SIN. 273 

sin as from the face of a serpent ; for if thou comest 
near them, they will take hold of thee ; the teeth thereof 
are the teeth of a lion, killing the souls of men,"' Ecclus. 
xxi. 2. And of some more grievous sins in particular 
the Scripture says, "They lie in wait for their own 
blood ; they practise deceits against their own souls ; so 
the ways of every covetous man destroy the souls of the 
possessors," Prov. i. 18. " He that is an adulterer for 
the folly of his heart shall destroy his own soul," Prov. 
vi, 32. "Refrain your tongue from detraction, for an 
obscure speech shall not go for nought : and the mouth 
that beheth killeth the soul," Wis. i. 11. Behold the 
fatal venom of the monster sin ! 

Q. 16. How does the malice of sin appear from the 
I loss of heaven, and the condemnation of the sinner to 

A. From this plain reason, that as heaven is a place 
of infinite happiness and never-ending bliss, great must 
be the malignity of sin, which alone can deprive us of 
that kingdom, and banish us for ever from all good. 
And as hell is a place of infinite misery and never- 
ending woe, dreadful must be the malice of sin, which 
alone condemns a soul to that never-ending torment. 
Now sin is the only thing that can do either of these 
things. The malice of men and devils can never deprive 
us of heaven, nor bring us to hell, if we be free from the 
guilt of sin. But so dreadful is the malice of sin, that 
one mortal sin alone effects all this. 

(i.) That sin for ever banishes us out of heaven is 
thus declared in Holy Writ : " Know ye not that the 
unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God ? Be not 
deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 
nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, 
nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, 
VOL. I. s 


shall possess the kingdom of God," i Cor. vi. 9. " Now 
the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornica- 
tion, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcraft, 
enmities, contentions, emulations, wrath, quarrels, dis- 
sensions, sects, envy, murders, drunkenness, revellings, 
and suchlike, of the which I foretell you, as I have 
foretold unto you, that they who do such things shall 
not obtain the kingdom of God," Gal. v. 9. " Know 
this and understand, that no fornicator, nor unclean, nor 
covetous person, which is a serving of idols, hath any 
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God," Eph. 
V. 5. " Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without 
which no man shall see God," Heb. xii. 14. 

(2.) That sin condemns those who are guilty of it to 
the eternal torments of hell is no less manifestly declared 
in these divine oracles. Thus the portion of sinners is 
described by the prophet : " Their land shall be soaked 
with blood, and their ground with the fat of fat ones, . . . 
the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the 
ground thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall 
become burning pitch ; night and day it shall not be 
quenched, and the smoke thereof shall go up for ever 
and ever," Is. xxxiv. 7. And Christ Himself thus assures 
us : "At the end of the world the Son of Man shall send 
His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all 
scandals, and them that work iniquity, and shall cast 
them into the furnace of fire ; there shall be weeping and 
gnashing of teeth," Mat. xiii. 40. For " they shall be 
cast into the hell of unquenchable fire, where their worm 
dieth not, and their fire is not extinguished, ... for 
every one shall be salted with fire, and every victim shall 
be salted with salt," Mark, ix. 44, 48. And at the last 
day the Judge will say to the wicked, " Depart from Me, 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and 

OF SIN. 275 

his angels," Mat. xxv. 41. "But the fearful, and unbe- 
lieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whore- 
mongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, they 
shall have their portion in the pool burning Avith fire and 
brimstone, which is the second death," Rev. xxi. 8. 

Q. 17. These truths are indeed dreadful, and show 
beyond reply what a monster sin must be ; but is it not 
amazing that Christians who believe these truths should 
ever dare to sin ? 

A. Amazing it certainly is ; but the reason is given us 
in the Holy Scripture — to wit, that they never seriously 
reflect. Bewitched by the pleasures and vanities and 
amusements of this world, they spend their lives in a 
continual round of unprofitable and hurtful dissipations, 
and never find a moment's time to consider the great 
truths which their Holy faith teaches them. On this 
account these truths make no impression upon them ; 
they easily forget them, and therefore lead the lives of 
heathens, as if they believed them not. " With desola- 
tion is all the land made desolate, because there is none 
that considereth in the heart," Jer. xii. 11. "The harp, 
and the lyre, and the timbrel^ and the pipe, and the wine 
are in your feasts ; and the work of the Lord you regard 
not, nor do you consider the w'ork of His hands, . . . 
therefore hath hell enlarged her soul, and opened her 
mouth without any bounds, and their strong ones, and 
their people, and their high and glorious ones, shall go 
down into it," Is. v. 14. That is, as Job expresses it, 
"They take the timbrel and the harp, and rejoice at the 
sound of the organ ; they spend their days in wealth, and 
in a moment go down to hell," Job, xxi. 12. Oh that 
men would be wise, and think on these things ! 


Section II. 

Of Vefiiai Sin. 

Q. 1 8, What is venial sin ? 

A. It is a smaller transgression of the law, a more 
pardonable offence, which, though it does not kill the 
soul, nor deserve eternal punishment, as mortal sin does, 
yet it obscures the beauty of the soul before God, dis- 
pleases Him, and deserves a temporal chastisement. 

Q. 19. How is this explained? 

A. The grace of God, which beautifies the soul, may 
be in the soul in a greater or less degree ; and of course 
the soul may be more or less beautiful in the eyes of God, 
more or less pure, more or less holy. Now the malig- 
nity of mortal sin is such that it banishes the grace of 
God entirely from the soul, and makes it positively 
hideous and loathsome in His sight ; whereas venial sin 
does not entirely banish the grace of God from the soul, 
but it obscures its lustre, diminishes its splendour, and 
stains its brightness. It does not render the soul posi- 
tively hateful to God, but it makes her less pure, less 
holy, less beautiful, and consequently less agreeable in 
His sight. It does not destroy friendship between God 
and the soul so as to make them enemies ; but it cools 
the fervour of that charity and love which subsisted be- 
tween them, and begets a degree of indifference on each 
side ; and as even the smallest venial sin is contrary to 
the will of God, therefore it displeases Him, and deserves 
to be punished by Him. 

Q. 20. How does it appear from Scripture that there 
are such venial sins, which do not break our peace with 

OF SIN. 277 

A. That is plain from many parts of Scripture, (i.) 
It is said, " The just man shall fall seven times, and shall 
rise again," Prov. xxiv. 16. Now by these falls cannot 
be meant mortal sins, otherwise he would be no longer 
the just man; but only smaller imperfections, such as 
even good people fall into, and which do not break their 
peace with God. To the same purpose St Jarnes says, 
" In many things we all offend," James, iii. 2 ; and St 
John, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us," i John, i. 8 ; where both 
these apostles put themselves among the number of 
those who sin ; yet nobody will say that they committed 
mortal sins, and were separated from Christ, or in a state 
of damnation ; on the contrary, St Paul assures us of 
himself and brethren, that " nothing should ever be able 
to separate them from the love of God which is in Christ 
Jesus our Lord," Rom. viii. 39; nay, he declares that 
" there is now no condemnation"' (that is, 7iothing ^uorthy 
of dam7iation) "to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk 
not according to the flesh," Rom. viii. i. Now the 
apostles were the friends of Jesus Christ ; and therefore 
any sins or imperfections in them were by no means 
mortal, or such as deserved damnation. The same 
truth we learn from our Lord's prayer ; for in it He 
requires of His apostles, as well as of His followers, to 
pray, " forgive us our sins." Now we cannot suppose 
the apostles, and all the great saints of God, had mortal 
sins for which to ask forgiveness ; yet they were not free 
from smaller imperfections, which, being sins, stood also 
in need of forgiveness. (2.) The Scripture makes the 
distinction between mortal and venial sins in very plain 
terms. Thus our Saviour says, " Whosoever is angry 
with his brother, shall be in danger of judgment ; and 
whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca " {a ivord ex- 


pressing contempt), " shall be in danger of the council ; and 
whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of 
hell fire," Mat. v. 22 ; where He expressly distinguishes 
the different degrees of guilt in sin, and declares that 
the smaller degrees deserve not hell fire, but the greater 
do. Again He says, " Every idle word that men shall 
speak, they shall render an account for it at the day of 
judgment," Mat. xii, 36 ; but an idle word does not 
deserve hell fire ; for even a word of anger does not 
deserve it, as He told us in the former text ; yet an idle 
word is sinful, because we must give an account of it in 
judgment. Some sins are compared by Jesus Christ to 
beams in the eye, and others to small motes, Mat. vii. 3, 
which shows the great diff"erence between mortal and 
venial sins ; for a beam in one's eye must destroy the 
sight entirely, whereas a mote only impairs it. To the 
same purpose He says : " You pay tithe of mint, and 
anise, and cummin, and have let alone the weightier 
things of the law ; . . . blind guides, who strain out a 
gnat, and swallow a camel," Mat. xxiii. 23 ; yet at the 
same time He tells them that even these smaller 
things ought to be done, and therefore it was a sin to 
neglect them, though only like a gnat in comparison of a 
camel when compared to greater crimes. 

Q. 21. Are there diff'erent kinds of venial sin ? 

A. Venial sins, in general, are divided into two kinds: 
(i.) Such as arise from human frailty, surprise, or inad- 
vertency, and from objects to which the person has no 
inordinate attachment. (2.) Such as a person commits 
willingly and deliberately, or from an evil habit, which 
he fakes no pains to amend, or with aftection to the 
sinful object. 

Q. 22. Is venial sin a great evil ? 

A. Venial sins of the first kind, to which all men are 

OF SIN. 279 

more or less subject, and which arise from human 
frailty, without any inordinate attachment to them, 
show, indeed, the corruption of our heart, and our great 
weakness, and on that account ought to be the subject 
of our daily humiliation before God ; but they are less 
evil in proportion as they are less deliberate and volun- 
tary. But venial sins of the second kind, which a person 
commits deliberately and with affection, or out of an 
unresisted habit, though even these be but small sins 
compared to mortal sins, yet they are very great and per- 
nicious evils. 

Q. 23. How can the evil of deliberate venial sin be 

A. From the following considerations: (i.) It is an 
offence voluntarily committed against a God of infinite 
goodness and majesty, and on that account alone is a 
greater evil than all the miseries any creature can endure 
in time, insomuch that no man living can be permitted 
by any power in heaven or earth to commit otie venial 
sin, though he might thereby save a kingdom, or even 
the whole world ; because an evil done to the Creator 
is in itself a greater evil than the destniction or annhila- 
tion of the whole creation. 

(2.) Deliberate venial sins, especially if frequently 
repeated, show that the person who commits them has 
but a very weak and languid love for God when he 
makes so light of oftending Him. True love has this 
constant property, that it makes the lover exceedingly 
attentive to please the beloved object, even on the 
most minute occasion, and studiously to avoid the least 
thing that can displease him; and nothing more phinly 
proves the weakness of one's regard and aftection for 
one's friend than to show indifference about pleasing 
him, even in little matters. What kind of love, then, 


must those have for God, who, if they can but escape 
His avenging justice, care not how much they displease 
Him ? 

(3.) They not only show the weakness of our love for 
God, but the oftener they are repeated the more they cool 
and diminish it ; for our love of God is always in propor- 
tion to the grace of God in our souls : the more the grace 
of God abounds in our souls, the more we love Him ; 
and the greater our love of Him, the more His grace 
abounds in us. Now as every deliberate venial sin 
weakens the grace of God in the soul, of course it also 
cools the fervour of our love for Him. And as a little 
dust or smoke, though it does not blind, yet prejudices 
the sight of the eye, so the least deliberate venial sin 
obscures the spiritual vision of the soul, and abates the 
fervour of heavenly desires. Besides, the more we gra- 
tify our affection for those creatures which are the objects 
of our venial sins, the more our love for them must in- 
crease ; and the more our love increases towards any 
creature, the more it must be diminished towards God ; 
for " no man can serve two masters." 

(4.) In consequence of this weakening and cooling of 
our love for God, His love diminishes and cools towards 
us ; our indifference about pleasing Him makes Him the 
more indifferent towards us ; the oftener we deliberately 
offend Him, the more He is displeased with us ; and to 
show how dangerous this is for a soul that, by venial sins, 
falls away from her first fervour, hear what Jesus Christ 
says to one in this state : " I know thy works, and thy 
labour, and thy patience, . . . and thou hast endured 
for My name, and hast not fainted. But I have some- 
what against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity. 
Be mindful, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and 
do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to 

OF SIN. 281 

thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, un- 
less thou do penance," Rev. ii. 2, &zc. 

(5.) The more a person goes on repeating such sins, 
the more indisposed does he become for receiving new 
graces from God ; and God, being the more displeased 
with him, withdraws His more abundant graces in just 
punishment of his repeated infidelity, as He Himself de- 
clares : " Thus saith the Faithful and True Witness, 
Who is the beginning of the creation of God : I know 
thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot ; I would 
thou wert cold or hot ; but because thou art lukewarm, 
and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out 
of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and made 
wealthy, and I have need of nothing ; and thou knowest 
not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and 
blind, and naked," Rev. iii. 14. Such souls are nauseous 
and loathsome to God ; and though He does not throw 
them oft" all at once, yet He begins to cast them out of 
His mouth, by withdrawing from them His graces, of 
which they have rendered themselves unworthy ; and thus 
leaving them more and more to themselves, at last, if 
they do not alter their conduct. He rejects them entirely. 
Because they are not guilty of any gross mortal sin, and 
perform some outward duties of devotion, they fancy 
themselves in a safe way; but Almighty God forms a very 
different judgment of them. 

(6.) The great evil of venial sin also appears from 
the severe punishments the Divine justice has often 
inflicted in this life upon sins which appear to us to be 
of a venial nature. Witness Lot's wife turned into a 
pillar of salt for indulging a natural curiosity; Moses 
deprived of going into the Holy Land for a small diffi- 
dence in striking the rock ; Oza struck dead for touch- 
ing the ark to support it when in danger of falling; 


David losing seventy thousand of his people by the 
plague for his vain curiosity in numbering them ; Agrippa 
consumed alive by worms for taking pleasure in hearing 
himself praised. Now if a God of infinite justice punished 
such sins so severely, they must certainly have deserved 
such punishment, and, therefore, are far from being small 

(7.) This is further shown from the way those are 
punished after death who die guilty of such sins ; for so 
displeasing in the sight of God is the guilt of the least 
venial sin, that no soul stained with it can ever be 
admitted to His presence till its guilt be purged away. 
God is a being of infinite purity Himself, and none but 
the pure, " the clean of heart, shall see Him," Mat. v. 8, 
and therefore into the heavenly Jerusalem " there shall 
not enter anything defiled," Rev. xxi. 27 : when, there- 
fore, a soul leaves this world stained with the guilt of only 
venial sins, she is condemned to the sufferings of purgatory 
till she be perfectly cleansed by them from all spot or 
blemish, and rendered fit to be admitted to the Divine 
presence ; and how dreadful this cleansing will be, 
appears from the words of the prophet : " Every one that 
shall be left in Sion, and shall remain in Jerusalem, shall 
be called holy, every one that is written in life in Jerusa- 
lem • the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughter 
of Zion ... by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit 
of burning," Isa. iv. 3. How dreadful that purgation by 
the very " spirit of judgment and of burning " ! How 
great an evil that stain which requires such a purgation ! 

(8.) The great and fatal evil of venial sin consists in 
this, that it disposes and leads on the poor soul to the 
gulf of mortal sin, according to the express declaration 
of the Word of God, " He that contemn eth small things, 
shall fall by little and little," Ecclus. xix. i, and "he 

OF SIN. 283 

that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in 
that which is greater ; and he that is unjust in that which 
is little, is unjust also in that which is great," Luke, xvi. 
10. And for this several reasons are assigned: (i.) 
Experience teaches that the greatest things, both in the 
order of nature and in the order of grace, commonly take 
their rise from small beginnings ; rivers from springs, 
trees from small seeds. " Behold how great a fire a 
small spark kindleth !" James, iii. 5. Our bodies begin 
from a point ; a drop of water neglected, causes the fall 
of a house ; a slight illness disregarded brings on disease 
and death ; the most learned man commences by the 
alphabet ; the greatest saints were not born such, but ar- 
rived at sanctity by degrees ; so also the greatest sinners 
begin by small sins, which neglected lead on to greater. 
A slight motion of anger indulged led Cain to murder his 
own brother ; an impure glance of the eye encouraged, 
dragged on a David to adultery and murder ; and an 
inordinate attachment to riches, uncorrected, brought 
Judas to betray his Master. (.?.) All the foregoing 
reasons show the same thing ; for, by venial sins in- 
dulged, we become more disagreeable to God, our love 
of Him is diminished, and His to us ; we are rendered 
more unfit for receiving His graces, and they are given 
more sparingly ; our passions become stronger, and we 
grow weaker ; and then what is to be the consequence 
when the time of temptation comes, but that we fall into 
mortal sin? (3.) Venial sins lead us on step by step 
towards mortal sin, and take off by degrees our horror of 
it. It would be impossible for any one to step from the 
ground to the top of a high stair all at once ; but by 
taking one step after another, he goes up with the greatest 
ease. A modest person would be shocked at the pro- 
posal of any of the greatest crimes of impurity; but, if she 


gives ear to words of a double meaning, and takes plea- 
sure in them, this will easily prepare the way for bad 
thoughts ; from this there is but a step to desires ; and, 
these encouraged, will lead on to undue hberties in action, 
and so step by step she will be carried on to every excess. 
(4.) By committing small sins without remorse, or with 
affection, we contract a habit of transgressing the law, 
which, the more it is indulged, the stronger it becomes. 
(5.) It is certain that our nature, if left to itself, would 
lead us into all crimes ; and we have no other way to 
prevent this but by checking its desires. Now experi- 
ence teaches us that the more we yield to these desires, 
the stronger they become ; the more liberty we give to 
nature, the more unruly does she grow. (6.) Many 
venial sins are of such a nature, that they become mortal 
if frequently repeated : such are all sins of injustice, 
working upon forbidden days, and the like. (7.) It is 
often very difficult to distinguish the limits between 
mortal and venial sin ; therefore a person who indulges 
himself in the latter, exposes himself to the continual 
danger of falling into the former. Now " he that loveth 
the danger shall perish in it," Ecclus. iii. 27. (8.) A 
thing that is in itself only venial, very often, from the 
circumstances, becomes mortal. 

Q. 24. How can a thing, in itself venial, become mor- 
tal from the circumstances ? 

A. From different causes : (i.) If his affection who 
commits it be so great towards the object of a sin in 
itself venial that he would be ready to offend God mor- 
tally rather than not do it, his doing it with such a 
disposition is a mortal sin. (2.) If a person commit a 
venial sin for an end mortally sinful ; for example, if he 
should steal a small quantity of poison of trifling value 
in order to poison his neighbour, this intention makes 

OF SIN. 285 

the stealing the poison itself a mortal sin, though he 
should be prevented from using it as he intended. (3.) 
If he commit a sin in itself venial, but which, by mistake, 
he believes to be mortal, to him it becomes a mortal sin. 
(4.) If a sin, in itself venial, be the occasion of great 
scandal, it becomes mortal to the person who commits it 
on that account. (5.) If a venial sin be committed from 
a contempt of the Divine law, this contempt makes it 

Q. 25. What are the proper remedies of sin? 

A. There are two principal remedies for the great evil 
of sin — one on the part of man, which is a sincere repen- 
tance ; the other on the part of God, which is the grace 
of Jesus Christ. These two remedies are both of ab- 
solute necessity, for it is impossible that we should be 
delivered from the guilt of our actual sins without a 
sincere repentance ; and it is impossible for us to repent 
as we ought without the assistance of Divine grace ; 
and though we have a sincere repentance, that alone 
cannot deliver us from our sins without the infusion of 
sanctifying grace into our souls. So that the grace of 
our Saviour is the great remedy which alone can heal 
the wounds which the soul receives from sin, and wash 
away its guilt ; and repentance on our part is a condi- 
tion absolutely required, to dispose the soul for receiving 
that grace, and without which it is impossible that this 
grace should be bestowed upon us. 




Q. I. "\ T 7" HAT is repentance ? 

V V A. Repentance, which is also called 
penance^ is the sincere conversion of the heart from sin 
to God. To understand this we must observe that in sin 
there are two great evils, which Almighty God Himself 
describes in these words, "Be astonished, O ye heavens ! 
at this, ... for My people have done two evils ; they 
have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and have 
digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can 
hold no water," Jer. ii. 12. In every mortal sin, then, 
there are these two enormous evils — to wit, the turning 
away from God, \\\\o is infinitely good, and the very 
fountain of goodness and life, and the embracing in His 
stead the monster sin, by the allurements of some deceit- 
ful appearance of an imaginary happiness, justly com- 
pared to a broken cistern that can hold no water, but 
only filth and mud. Wherefore repentance, which is the 
opposite of sin and its destroyer, must likewise have these 
two conditions — the turning away from sin with horror, 
detestation, and sorrow for having offended so great a 
God, and the returning back to God to embrace Him 
by love, and faithfully to obey His Holy law. 

Q. 2. What are the principal parts of which true re- 
pentance is composed ? 


A. The principal parts of true repentance are these 
three : (i.) A sincere regret and sorrow of heart for our 
having offended so good a God by sin. (2.) A firm and 
detennined resohition of never offending Him again, 
followed by an effectual change of life and manners. 
(3.) A voluntary punishing of ourselves for the sins we 
have committed, in order to repair the injury done to 
God by sin, and to satisfy, in some measure, His offended 

Section I. 
Of the Sorrow of Repentance. 

Q. 3. What is meant by sorrow for having offended 
God by sin? 

A. Sorrow is a painful feeling of the mind when any 
evil comes upon ourselves or on those we love; and 
if we ourselves have been the occasion of bringing evil 
upon those we love, our displeasure and pain at their 
suffering are all the greater. When, therefore, we have 
a sincere love of God, and consider our sins as a grievous 
outrage and injury by which we have offended Him, and 
on that account feel a regret in our heart, a pain and 
displeasure in our mind, that pain, that regret, that dis- 
pleasure is the sorrow which constitutes true repentance. 

Q. 4. What are the qualities which this true sorrow of 
repentance ought to have ? 

A. Chiefly these following: (i.) It ought to be in- 
ternal — that is, seated in the heart and mind ; not con- 
sisting of mere words or other external signs, nor even a 
more sensible sorrow, which some tender, affectionate 
people frequently have, and which shows itself in sobs 
and tears, but without any real change of heart ; but it 


ought to be in the mind and heart — i?i the ?nind, by a full 
conviction of the evil of sin, and the injury it is to so 
good a God ; and m the heart, which, having a sincere 
love of God, feels a real pain and regret for having ever 
displeased Him. Where this is there is true sorrow, 
though there be neither sighs nor tears ; but where this 
is not, sighs and tears will be of no avail. (2.) It ought 
to be supernatural — that is, a rising from supernatural 
motives through the grace of God. A person may be 
sorry for his sins, because by them he has brought suffer- 
ing, loss, or disgrace upon himself. A sorrow of this 
kind will never find mercy with God. This is a mere 
sorrow of the world, not a sorrow according to God. 
Now the Scripture tells us that it is only "the sorrow 
that is according to God which worketh penance stead- 
fast unto salvation ; but the sorrow of the world worketh 
death," 2 Cor. vii. 10. The sorrow of true repentance 
must arise from our having offended so good a God, from 
our ingratitude to Jesus Christ, from the danger to which 
our sins expose us of being for ever separated from God 
Whom we love, of being eternally condemned among 
His enemies to hell fire, from the fear of God's judg- 
ments, and from the horror of sin on account of its op- 
position to God. These are supernatural motives which 
our faith teaches us, and which, by the help of God's grace, 
excite the true sorrow of repentance in our souls. (3.) 
It ought to be exceeding great — that is, our sorrow for 
having lost our God and His grace by sin ought to be 
greater than if we had lost all that we love in this world ; 
because, as our sorrow for the loss of any good is always 
in proportion to the love and esteem we bear towards it, 
so our sorrow and regret for having lost God by sin 
ought to be greater than if we had lost all things else, 
seeing we are obliged to love Him above all things. (4.) 


It ought to be universal — that is, we ought to have this 
sorrow for all and every one of our sins without excep- 
tion ; for if we love any one mortal sin, though we should 
perfectly hate all others, we can never be said to have 
true repentance. (5.) It ought to be accompanied with 
a firm resolution of sinning no more, and a willingness 
to satisfy for past sins ; of which afterwards. (6.) It 
ought also to be accompanied with a firm hope of ob- 
taining pardon through the mercy of God. 

Q. 5. Is this sorrow absolutely necessary for true re- 
pentance ? 

A. It is the very essence of true repentance, as ap- 
pears from innumerable testimonies of Scripture. Thus 
David says to God, " If Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I 
would indeed have given it ; with burnt-ofterings Thou 
wilt not be delighted ; a sacrifice to God is an afflicted 
spirit ; a contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt 
not despise," Ps. 1. 18 ; where we see that no outward 
means of appeasing the wrath of God, even by sacrifices 
appointed by Himself for this purpose, will find accept- 
ance with Him unless they be accompanied with a true 
and sincere sorrow of the heart, which humbles it, and 
breaks it, as it were, to pieces, and with affliction of the 
spirit, or regret of the mind, for having offended so good 
a God, but that an afflicted spirit and contrite heart 
will never be despised by Him. So also the Scripture 
says, "When thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou 
shalt find Him ; yet so, if thou seek Him with all thy 
heart, and with all the affliction of thy soul," Deut. iv. 29. 
Again, the prophet Moses says to his people, " Now, 
when thou shalt be touched with the repentance of thy 
heart — and return to Him — the Lord thy God will have 
mercy on thee," Deut. xxx. i, 2, 3. So likewise Jeremiah 
exhorts sinners in these words to true repentance: "Gird 

VOL. I. T 


thee with sackcloth, O daughter of my people, and 
sprinkle thee with ashes ; make thee mourning as for an 
only son, a bitter lamentation," Jer. vi. 26. And God 
Himself, by His prophet Joel: "Now, therefore," saith the 
Lord, " be converted to me with all your heart in fasting, 
and in weeping, and in mourning, and rend your hearts 
and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, 
for He is gracious and merciful, patient, and rich in 
mercy," Joel, ii. 12. Such was the true sorrow of David, 
which he describes in these words : " There is no health 
in my flesh, because of Thy wrath ; there is no peace 
for my bones, because of my sins ; for my iniquities are 
gone over my head, and as a heavy burden are become 
heavy upon me. ... I am become miserable, and am 
bowed down even to the end ; I walked sorrowful all the 
day long," Ps. xxxvii. 4. Such was the repentance of 
King Ezekias, when he said to God, " I will recount to 
Thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul," Is. 
xxxviii. 15. Such, in fine, was the repentance of all 
true penitents who found mercy with God — the Nini- 
vites, the humble publican, St Mary Magdalene, St 
Peter, &c. 

Q. 6. How many kinds of this sorrow are there ? 

A. It is considered as divided into two kinds, which 
agree in all the above-mentioned qualities, and differ 
only in the motives from which they arise, and in the 
effects they produce. Of the supernatural motives men- 
tioned above, some are most perfect and excellent, 
because founded on charity, or the pure love of God for 
Himself alone — as when we are sorry for our sins, purely 
because by them we have offended so good a God, 
Whom we love above all things, without any attention to 
the evils sin brings upon ourselves. Such was the 
sorrow of St Mary Magdalene, of whom our Saviour 


says, " Many sins are forgiven her, because she has 
loved much." A sorrow that arises from this motive is 
a perfect sorrow, and is called perfect contrition. Others 
of the supernatural motives above mentioned are less 
perfect, because they include an attention to our own 
interest, accompanied with an initial and less perfect 
love of God, considering Him more as being good to us 
than as infinitely good in Himself. Of this kind are our 
fear of losing heaven, or of being condemned to hell ; 
our fear of the judgments of God, and the like. A 
sorrow for sin which arises from these motives is there- 
fore called imperfect contrition, and attrition. 

Q. 7. How do contrition and attrition differ in their 
effects ? 

A. Perfect contrition, as it arises from a perfect love 
of God for Himself alone, is so pleasing in His sight 
that the moment a person has it, God is reconciled to 
him, and forgives his sins; for, as the Scripture says, 
" Charity," or the perfect love of God, " covereth a 
multitude of sins," i Pet. iv. 8 ; and such was the 
effect it had in St Mary Magdalene. It is to be under- 
stood, however, that such contrition does not free a 
person from the obligation of having recourse to the 
sacrament of penance, where it can be had — the com- 
mand of receiving that sacrament being laid upon all 
without exception. Attrition of itself, on the other 
hand, in no case obtains the remission of sin, but only 
disposes the soul for receiving that grace by means of 
the sacrament of penance. 

Q. 8. Is this sorrow for sin, which arises from the fear 
of hell, or of God's judgments, or of losing heaven, a 
virtuous and laudable sorrow ? 

A. Most certainly ; it is a gift of God, and therefore 
David prays for it : " Pierce Thou my flesh," says he, 


" with Thy fear : for I am afraid of Thy judgment," Ps. 
cxviii. 120; and Christ Himself commands us to have 
this fear of God : " Be not afraid of them that kill the 
body, and after that have no more that they can do ; 
but I will show whom ye shall fear ; fear ye Him Who, 
after He hath killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, 
I say to you, fear Him," Luke, xii. 4. 

Section II. 
Of the Purpose of not Sinning again. 

Q. 9. What is meant by a purpose of riot sinning 
again ? 

A. It is a firm and resolute determination of the will 
carefully to avoid all sin for the time to come, and all 
the dangerous occasions of sin, arising from the same 
supernatural motives on which our sorrow for sin is 
grounded. In fact, this purpose and resolution is a 
necessary consequence of true sorrow, and an essential 
part of sincere repentance ; for it is impossible sincerely 
to hate sin, as the greatest of evils, and to be heartily 
sorry for having offended God, by being guilty of it, 
without also firmly resolving to fly from that monster 
for the future, and to use every necessary means for 
avoiding it. 

Q. 10. What are the effects of this sincere purpose of 
amendment 1 

A. A total change of our whole behaviour; "a putting 
off, according to our former conversation, the old man ; 
and a being renewed," not only " in the spirit of our 
mind," but also " putting on the new man, who, accord- 
ing to God, is created in justice, and holiness, and truth," 
Ephes. iv. 22 ; or, as the same apostle expresses it more 


particularly, " Now put you also away all anger, indigna- 
tion, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth ; 
lie not one to another, stripping yourselves of the old 
man, with his deeds. . . . Put ye on, therefore, as the 
elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy 
and benignity, humility, modesty, patience, but, above 
all things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection," 
Col. iii. 8. So that true repentance changes the whole 
man, his sentiments, his affections, his behaviour; makes 
him love what he did not love before, God and His 
Holy law ; and makes him hate what he loved before, 
his sinful pleasures and employments. And this is the 
great favour which Almighty God promises to bestow 
upon His people by the prophet Ezekiel, saying, " I 
^vill give them one heart, and will put a new spirit in 
their bowels ; and I will take away the stony heart out 
of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh, that 
they may walk in My commandments, and keep My 
judgments, and do them ; and that they may be My 
people, and I may be their God," Ezek. xi. 19. 

Q. II. Is this conversion and change of life strictly 
required of true penitents ? 

A. Nothing is more strongly inculcated throughout 
the whole Scripture, as a necessary condition of being 
reconciled with God. Thus, " As I live, saith the Lord 
God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the 
wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye 
from your evil ways ; and why will you die, O house of 
Israel?" Ezek. xxxiii. 11. And to show wherein this turn- 
ing consists. He says, " Cast away from you all trans- 
gressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to 
yourself a new heart and a new spirit, and why will you 
die. Chouse of Israel?" Ezek. xviii. 31. "When you 
stretch forth your hands, I will turn away My eyes from 


you," says God to sinners, " and when you multiply 
prayer I will not hear, for your hands are full of blood ;" 
that is, you are hateful to Me by reason of your sins. 
But what must be done to find favour ? . He immediately 
adds, " Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil 
of your devices from My eyes ; cease to do perversely, 
learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, 
judge for the fatherless, defend the widow, and then 
come and accuse Me, saith the Lord. If your sins be 
as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow; and if 
they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool," 
Isa. i. 15. " Seek the Lord," says the same holy pro- 
phet, " while He may be found ; call upon Him while 
He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his way, and 
the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the 
Lord, and He will have mercy upon him ; and to our 
God, for He is bountiful to forgive," Isa. Iv. 6. And no 
wonder that this conversion should be so strictly enjoined ; 
for how can we expect that God should be reconciled 
Avith us, if we still continue to offend Him ? This is 
what we ourselves would not do to one that injures us. 
Hence we find that all true penitents were remarkable 
for their great change of life— David, St Paul, St Mary 
Magdalene, Zachjeus, and others. 

Q. 12. But considering the weakness of human nature, 
the strength of evil habits, and the violence of temptation, 
how is it possible for one to be thus thoroughly changed 
all at once ? Such a^perfect change is the work of years ? 

A. This perfect conversion to God is no doubt the 
effect of His grace more than the work of man ; and 
Almighty God has not failed to give the world examples 
of the power of His grace by working all at once a per- 
fect conversion of the whole man, as in the case of the 
penitents last mentioned. But this is not the ordinary 


course of His Divine Providence. A change of heart, a 
firm and determined resolution of the will never more to 
offend God, is absolutely and essentially required in true 
repentance. This resolution, though it greatly fortifies 
the superior will against all passions, evil habits, and 
temptations, does not entirely and at once destroy them, 
and therefore does not give the sinner an absolute security 
against all relapses into sin, which indeed he can never 
have in this life ; but this resolution of amendment, if it 
be sincere, must work an effectual change, at least in the 
following particulars : (i.) In avoiding with the utmost 
care all dangerous occasions of sin ; for if he expose 
himself to the danger, this clearly shows he has no sin- 
cere resolution to avoid the sin, seeing the Word of God 
assures us that " He that loves the danger shall perish in 
it." (2.) In being most attentive to resist all tempta- 
tions, especially at the beginning ; for if he willingly 
entertain and dally with the temptation, it is evident that 
his horror for the sin is not what it ought to be. {3.) In 
using the proper remedies, especially such as are pre- 
scribed by his spiritual director, for subduing his passions 
and destroying his evil habits ; because if he be sincere 
in desiring the end, he must be assiduous in using the 
means. (4.) In being most fervent in the duties of 
prayer, spiritual reading, assisting at Mass, frequenting 
worthily the sacraments, and the like, as these are the 
most assured helps to avoid sin, and fortify the soul 
against it. When a penitent sinner is assiduous in these 
particulars, his conversion is real, and if he persevere in 
his efforts, he will avoid falling back into his sins, and in 
time obtain a perfect victory over them ; but if he be 
negligent in these things, and take little or no more care 
to avoid sin than he did before, his conversion is unreal, 
and by no means such as will find favour with God. 


Section III. 
Of Doing Penance for Sin. 

Q. 13. What is meant by doing penance for sin? 

A. The voluntary punishing of ourselves in order to 
satisfy the justice of God for the offences committed 
against Him. 

Q. 14. Does sin of its own nature require to be 
punished, or is punishment inflicted only as a warning to 
others, and for the correction of the guilty themselves ? 

A. Some people of free-thinking principles in these 
modern times seem to suppose that sin in itself requires 
little or no punishment, and that the principal, if not the 
only, design of punishing is to correct the guilty, and to 
act as a warning to others. But the whole conduct of 
the Divine Providence, as well as the feelings of our own 
heart, manifestly show that sin, of its own nature, essen- 
tially requires to be punished, and that wherever the 
guilt of sin is found, the justice of God acquires a full 
and perfect right to punish the offender. For ( i .) When 
great numbers of the angels fell into sin, the justice of 
God pursued them with immediate punishment, and con- 
demned them to hell-fire, which was prepared for that 
purpose. This surely was not for their correction, but for 
their eternal destruction ; neither was it as a warning to 
others, for there were no others to be warned by it, the 
good angels by their allegiance being then confirmed in 
eternal happiness. So severe a punishment, from a God 
of infinite goodness, clearly shows that the guilt of their 
crime most justly and necessarily required it. (2.) The 
punishment inflicted on all mankind for the sin of our 
first parents, in being deprived of original justice, shows 


the same truth beyond reply. This punishment was not 
for the correction, but for the destruction of the whole 
race of Adam, which would have effectually followed had 
not the goodness of God provided a remedy ; neither was 
it for warning, for there were no others to be warned by 
it, all were already involved. (3.) The eternal torments 
of hell, inflicted upon all impenitent sinners, no less 
clearly show the same thing. (4.) The Holy Scripture 
everywhere speaks of the punishment inflicted by God 
on sinners as being what their sins necessarily deserve 
from God's justice, without the smallest hint of its being 
sent for correction or warning, though this, no doubt, is 
also commonly intended in the punishments of this life. 
Nay, in some places it is said that certain more grievous 
sins cry to heaven for vengeance, and that justice abso- 
lutely demands that they should be punished. Correc- 
tion and warning, therefore, are accessary causes of 
punishment; but the essential source of punishment is 
the malignity and guilt of sin, which necessarily deserve 
and demand it ; and justice absolutely requires this satis- 
faction by the punishment of the guilty. {5.) As God is a 
being of infinite justice, it is impossible He should always 
and on every occasion punish sin even with temporal 
punishments, much less with eternal torments, if sin of 
its own nature did not justly require it ; because in num- 
berless instances, especially in the eternal punishment, 
His doing so could neither serve for correction nor warn- 
ing ; and as He is a being of infinite goodness, it is im- 
possible He should take pleasure in the sufferings of His 
creatures. In the order of justice, then, sin absolutely 
requires punishment, and we find it frequently declared 
in Scripture that it is the fixed rule of God's justice to 
render to every one according to his works — rewards for 
doing good, and punishment for sin ; and sin is every- 


where held forth as the primary cause of all our suffer- 
ings, both in this life and in the next. 

Q. 15. Is it a rule of God's justice never to let sin go 
unpunished ? 

A. It is, as appears from the following declarations of 
Holy writ : " I feared all my works," says Job, " know- 
ing that Thou didst not spare the offender," Job, ix. 28. 
And again, " Far from God be wickedness, and iniquit)-- 
from the Almighty; for He will render to a man his 
work, and according to the ways of every one He will 
reward him," Job, xxxiv. 10. " God hath spoken once ; 
these two things have I heard, that power belongeth to 
God, and mercy to thee, O Lord ! for Thou wilt render to 
every man according to his works," Ps. Ixi. 12. "I am 
the Lord," says the great God Himself, "that search the 
heart and prove the reins ; Who give to every one ac- 
cording to his way, and according to the fruit of his 
devices," Jer. xvii. 10. "For God is great in counsel, 
and incomprehensible in thought, Whose eyes are open 
upon all the ways of the children of Adam, to render 
unto every one according to his ways, and accord- 
ing to the fruit of his devices," Jer. xxxii. 19. Christ 
Himself assures us that " the Son of Man shall come 
in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then 
He will render to every man according to his work," 
Mat. xvi. 27. "For we must all appear before the 
judgment - seat of Christ, that every one may receive 
the proper things of the body, according as he hath 
done, whether it be good or evil," 2 Cor. v. 10. And 
St Paul, addressing himself in particular to sinners 
on this subject, says, "According to thy hardness and 
impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath 
against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just 
judgments of God, Who will render to every man ac- 


cording to his works. To them, indeed, who according 
to patience in good works seek glory and honour, and 
interruption, {He will render) eternal life; but to them 
that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but 
give credit to iniquity, Avrath and indignation. Tribula- 
tion and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh 
evil, . . . but glory, honour, and peace to every one 
that worketh good," Rom. ii. 5. 

Q. 16. How does it appear that the sufiferings of this 
life are in punishment of sin ? 

A. This also is taught everywhere throughout the 
Holy Scripture : thus "justice exalteth a nation, but sin 
maketh nations miserable," Prov. xiv. 34 ; and when 
our Saviour cured the sick man at the pool of Bethsaida, 
He said to Him, " Behold thou art made whole ; sin no 
more, lest some worse thing happen to thee," John, v. 
14. So also the wise man, speaking of the miseries of 
this life, says, " Such things happen to all flesh, from man 
even to beast, and upon sinners are sevenfold more. 
Moreover, death and bloodshed, strife and sword, op- 
pressions, famine, and affliction, and scourges, all these 
things are created for the wicked," Ecclus. xl. 8. Besides, 
we find that all the striking instances of God's justice, in 
sending extraordinary sufferings upon men, are declared 
in Scripture to be the just fruits of their sin — such as 
the Deluge, the destruction of Sodom, the plague, famine, 
and war so often sent upon His people, untimely death 
of individuals, loss of children, and the like ; and lastly, 
that God often threatens sinners with all these and other 
temporal miseries in punishment of their sins. Not that 
the punishing of sin is the only reason why God sends 
these temporal miseries upon His creatures : in this life 
mercy is always mixed with justice ; and, for the most 
part, He has in view the correction, improvement, and 


warning of souls ; but sin is the radical source from 
which all miseries flow. 

Q_. 17. What do we learn from these truths? 

A. We learn (i.) That it is a fixed rule of God's 
justice that every sin must be punished ; (2.) That the 
final punishment of sin will be in the next world ; (3.) 
That the punishments inflicted on sin in this life are 
always united with designs of mercy, either as a warning 
to others or to move the sinner himself to repentance. 

Q. 18. Whence arises the obligation of punishing 
ourselves for our sins ? and how comes this to be a part 
of true repentance ? 

A. By the appointment and express command of God, 
Who requires our doing penance, or at least our sincere 
will to do so, as a necessary part of true repentance, and 
a condition of obtaining pardon. 

Q. 19. How does this appear from Holy Scripture ? 

A. From the following testimonies : (i.) " Gird your- 
selves with hair-cloth, lament and howl, for the fierce 
anger of the Lord is not turned away from us ; . . . 
wash thy heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem ! that 
thou mayest be saved," Jer. iv. 8, 14. "Gird thyself 
with sackcloth, O daughter of my people ! and sprinkle 
thee with ashes : make thee mourning as for an only 
son, a bitter lamentation," Jer. vi. 26. " Be converted, 
and do penance for all your iniquities, and iniquity shall 
not be your ruin," Ezek. xviii. 30. " Now therefore, 
saith the Lord, be converted to Me with all your heart, 
in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning," Joel, ii. 12. 
In which texts we see that performing penitential works 
is joined with the other conditions of true repentance, as 
necessary to avert the anger of God, and find mercy 
with Him. (2.) When the people went out to St John 
the Baptist to be baptised by him, he said, "Ye 


offspring of vipers, who hath shown you to flee from 
the wrath to come ? " And immediately teaching them 
the means to avoid this wrath, he adds, " Bring forth, 
therefore, fruits worthy of penance," Luke, iii. 7. St 
Paul also declares that the great object of his preaching 
to the Jews was, " that they should do penance, and 
turn to God, doing works worthy of penance,"' Acts, 
xxvi. 20. Now by doing works worthy of penance 
cannot be meant '■'not committing sin',' for this is not 
doing any work at all, but only abstaining from evil 
work; neither can it mean doing "-works of virtue and 
piety'' as such, for to this we are obliged, whether we 
have ever sinned or not. By " works or fruits worthy 
of penance^' then, can only be meant works of piety and 
virtue performed in a penitential spirit, with a view of 
punishing ourselves for past sins, and good works, 
especially those most contrary to our self-love, offered 
up wth the same intention. Hence when the people 
asked the Baptist, "What then shall we do?" he re- 
commended to them one of the principal penitential 
works, almsgiving, and mercy towards others: "He 
that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath 
none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner," 
I.uke, iii. 11. 

(3.) Our blessed Saviour, when He entered upon His 
public life, began to " preach and to say, Do penance, 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," Mat. iv. 17. 
And to show the necessity of doing so, He says in 
another place, "Except ye do penance, you shall all 
likewise perish," Luke, xiii. 5. In like manner when 
the Jews who were converted at St Peter's first sermon 
asked, "Men and Brethren, what shall we do?" 
though the Scripture expressly observes that "they 
had compunction in their hearts," yet St Peter 


answered, " Do penance, and be baptised for the re- 
mission of your sins," Acts, ii. 37, 38. Which shows 
that compunction or sorrow of the heart alone is not 
sufficient, and that doing penance is also required. 

St Paul also, in his famous sermon to the great 
council of Athens, says, " God now declareth to men 
that all should everywhere do penance," Acts, xvii. 30. 
It is true that in these texts the Protestant bibles, 
instead of Do penance, translate it repent, meaning by 
that the sorrow of the heart alone, without any outward 
penitential works. But we must observe that the Chris- 
tian world, in all former ages, understood these passages 
as commanding the doing penance ; so that this translation 
is a novelty : besides, it is manifest from other parts of 
Scripture that the repentance which Christ requires is a 
sorrow of the heart, accompanied with penitential works 
painful to self-love. Thus Christ Himself condemns the 
people of Corazaim and Bethsaida for not " doing 
penance, sitting in sackcloth and ashes," after the works 
He had done among them, as the people of Tyre and 
Sidon would have done had they received the like 
favours, Luke, x. 13. And He lays it down as an 
essential condition of our belonging to Him that we 
" deny ourselves, and take up our cross and follow 
Him," Mat. xvi. 24. Finally, that doing penance is the 
true sense of the above texts appears beyond all con- 
tradiction from the examples of both saints and sinners 
who are recorded in Scripture to have been most assi- 
duous in performing that duty. 

Q. 20. What examples have we of this in Scripture ? 

A. St Paul, as we have just seen, affirmed in his ser- 
mon at Athens that "God now declareth to men that all 
should everywhere do penance," where, by saying all 
and everywhe?-e, he shows that none are excepted — the 


just as well as sinners being obliged to it ; sinners, as a 
necessary part of that repentance by which they move 
God to mercy, and avert His just anger ; and the just, 
as a satisfaction to God for their former offences, which 
His mercy has already pardoned; those who have sinned, 
in punishment of their past sins ; and those who have 
lived in innocence, as the best preservative of that 
treasure, and the most effectual means to obtain great 
favours from God. Hence we find the most striking 
examples of each in Scripture. ( i.) Of sinners : of Achab, 
King of Israel, it is said, " there was not such another as 
Achab, who was sold to do evil in the sight of the Lord," 
3 Kings, xxi. 25 ; therefore God at last sent the prophet 
Elias to him, to denounce the dreadful punishments 
which He had decreed to send upon him : " And when 
Achab had heard these words, he rent his garments, and 
put hair-cloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and slept in 
sack-cloth, and walked with his head cast down." See 
here the penitential life he led, which so moved the 
compassion and mercy of the Almighty that He said to 
Elias, with a kind of surprise and pleasure, " Hast thou 
not seen Achab humbled before Me ? therefore because 
he has humbled himself for My sake, I will not bring the 
evil in his days," 3 Kings, xxi. 27-29. 

King Manasses, in punishment of his sins, Avas over- 
come by the Babylonians, and they " took him and 
carried him bound with fetters and chains to Babylon. 
And after that he was in distress, he prayed to the Lord 
his God, and did penance exceedingly before the God 
of his Fathers ; and he entreated Him and besought 
Him earnestly; and He heard his prayer, and brought 
him again to Jerusalem nito his kingdom," 2 Chron. 
xxxiii. II. The wickedness of the people of Ninive was 
so great that God was resolved to destroy it, and He 


sent His prophet Jonas to preach, " Yet forty days, and 
Ninive shall be destroyed. And the men of Ninive 
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the great- 
est to the least ; . . . and the king cast away his robe 
from him, and was clothed in sackcloth, and sat in 
ashes ; . . . and God saw their works, that they were 
turned from their evil way ; and God had mercy with 
regard to the evil which He had said that He would do 
to them, and He did it not," Jonas, iii. 4. From this 
example of the Ninivites our Saviour takes occasion to 
inculcate the necessity of doing penance in the strongest 
terms : " The men of Ninive," says He, " shall rise in 
judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it ; 
because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas ; 
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here," Mat. xii. 41. 
(2.) Of saints and holy people who had been sinners. 
David, after his repentance for his unhappy fall, even 
though he knew his sin was pardoned, led a most peni- 
tential life, which he thus describes : " I am poor and 
needy, and my heart is troubled within me. I am taken 
away like the shadow when it declineth ; and I am 
shaken off as locusts : my knees are weakened through 
fasting," Ps. cviii. 22. " My bones are grown dry like 
fuel for the fire ; I am smitten as grass, and my heart is 
withered, because I forgot to eat my bread ; through the 
voice of my groaning my bone hath cleaved to my flesh. 
... I have watched, and am become as a sparrow, all 
alone on the house-top, ... for I did eat ashes like 
bread, and mingled my drink with weeping ; because of 
His anger and indignation," Ps. ci. 4. St Paul had been 
a persecutor of the Church of Christ ; but when he was 
perfectly reconciled to Christ, and made an apostle, his 
constant preaching to the Jews was the necessity of 
doing penance. Now to understand that the penance he 


preached was not a mere sorrow of the heart alone, but 
such a sorrow as manifested itself by doing works worthy 
of penance, see his own example : though he was a 
chosen vessel, an apostle, a friend of Christ, that had 
been taken up to the third heaven, yet he says, "I 
chastise my body, and bring it into subjection; lest 
perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself 
should become a castaway," i Cor. ix. 27. St Paul ! the 
chosen vessel ! is afraid of losing his soul ! and, as a 
necessary means to prevent that, " chastises his body, 
and brings it into subjection!" Can anything more 
incontestably show the necessity of doing penance ? and 
that a repentance which brought forth such fruits of 
penance was the repentance so constantly inculcated by 
this apostle ? 

(3.) Of those who had preserved their innocence, at 
least, from mortal sin. Job, an upright man, and one 
who feared God and avoided evil, yet says of himself, 
" I have spoken unwisely, . . . therefore I reprehended 
myself, and do penance in dust and ashes," Job, xlii. 
3, 6. Judith, a holy woman, who was " greatly renowned 
among all because she feared the Lord very much, 
neither was there any one that spoke an ill word of her " 
(Judith, viii. 8), yet, after her husband's death, led a most 
penitential life, for she made herself a private chamber 
in the upper part of her house in which she abode, shut 
up with her maids ; and she wore hair-cloth upon her 
loins, and fasted all the days of her life, except the Sab- 
baths and new moons, and the feasts of the house of 
Israel," ver. 5. Daniel, a most holy youth, and a prophet, 
thus describes his penitential works : " I set my face to 
the Lord my God, to pray and make supplication, with 
fasting and sackcloth and ashes," Dan. ix. 3 ; and again, 
" In those days, I Daniel mourned the days of three 
VOL. I. u 


weeks, I ate no pleasant bread, and neither flesh nor wine 
entered into my mouth, neither was I anointed with oint- 
ment till the days of three weeks were accomplished," 
Dan. X. 2. St John the Baptist, though sanctified in his 
mother's womb, led a most austere and penitential life in 
the wilderness. And Anna, the prophetess, is praised in 
Scripture because she departed not from the temple, by 
fastings and prayers serving night and day," Luke, ii. 37. 
Finally, we frequently read in the Acts and Epistles of 
the apostles of their fastings and watchings. ISTow what 
could induce so many, both saints and sinners, to em- 
ploy themselves in works so distasteful to flesh and blood, 
so opposed to self-love and every natural inclination? 
What could influence them but the conviction that all 
sin must be punished, and that God requires of penitents, 
as a part of true repentance, that they should co-operate 
with the Divine justice in punishing themselves? 

Q. 21. But is it not injurious to the infinite satisfaction 
paid by Jesus Christ to the Divine justice for our sins to 
say that we are still obliged to do penance for them? 
are not His sufferings more than sufiicient to satisfy for 
the whole world ? 

A. To this it is replied, (i.) That Jesus Christ Him- 
self, and His holy apostle St Paul, did not think it in- 
jurious to the satisfaction paid by Him for our sins, when 
they so strongly inculcated the necessity of our doing 
penance in their preachings, and when St Paul confirmed 
it by his example. (2.) Jesus Christ not only suffered 
in the flesh for our sins, but He was also oppressed in the 
garden with the most dreadful sorrow that ever entered 
into the heart of man, on seeing the sins of the whole 
world laid upon Himself, from the clear knowledge He 
had of their enormity, and the greatness of the offence 
done to God by them. He also shed tears on our ac- 


count, and poured forth most fer\'ent prayers to obtain 
mercy for us. Now the sorrow, tears, and prayers of 
Jesus Christ were of no less infinite value than His bodily 
sufferings, and sufficient to cancel the sins of ten thousand 
worlds. Shall we say, therefore, that no son-ow, tears, 
nor prayers are required from us ? or that it is injurious 
to the infinite merits of His sorrow and tears, and of the 
prayers which He offered up for our sins, to believe that 
we are still obliged to be sorrowful, to weep, and to pray? 
(3.) The sorrow, tears, prayers, and sufferings of Christ 
are doubtless of infinite merit before His Eternal Father, 
and the most superabundant satisfaction to the Divine 
justice for the sins of men ; but to be available to us, 
they must be applied to our souls, and this is done only 
when we perform the conditions Christ demands ; for 
Christ " is become the cause of eternal salvation to all 
that obey Him," Heb. v. 9, and to none else ; for those 
"who obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ 
shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction," 2 Thes. 
i. 8. Now as all agree that, notwithstanding the suffer- 
ings of Christ, we are still strictly obliged to be sorrow- 
ful, and to pray for our sins, as a condition required for 
applying His merits to our souls, and that we do so 
without the least injury to His sorrow and prayers, so 
the above testimonies and examples of Holy Writ clearly 
prove that, notwithstanding all His sufterings for our 
sins, we are still strictly obliged, by His command, to 
suffer for them, by punishing ourselves, as a condition 
required for applying the merits of His sufferings to our 
souls, and that without the least prejudice to the infinite 
satisfaction paid by Him. But (4.) if we consider the 
matter properly, we shall see that, instead of injuring the 
satisfaction of Christ, we highly honour it by doing 
penance. For suppose a man owing a debt which he is 


utterly unable to discharge, and another to become his 
security, would it not be the height of ingratitude if on 
that account he cast off all responsibility? Or would he 
not be bound in gratitude and justice to do his utmost 
to pay at least as far as he was able? This is our case, 
and the application obvious, especially as we have seen 
that our Divine Surety expressly requires this of us. And, 
indeed, if Jesus Christ, the innocent, the Holy Lamb of 
God, suffered so much for the sins of others, does not 
every motive of gratitude and justice demand that guilty 
sinners should themselves suffer something ? Hence we 
find that eternal life is promised only on condition that 
we suffer with our innocent Surety ; we are " heirs, in- 
deed, of God, and joint heirs with Christ; yet so if we 
suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him," 
Rom. viii. 17. "A faithful saying; for if we be dead 
with Him, we shall also live with Him ; if we suffer, we 
shall also reign with Him," 2 Tim. ii. 11. And St Peter 
assures us that " Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an 
example that we should follow His steps," i Pet. ii. 21; 
which manifestly shows that, among the many other views 
Christ had in suffering, one expressly was to encourage 
us by his example to folhnu His steps, by voluntary suf- 
ferings for our sins. Therefore, by doing penance for 
our sins, we truly honour the sufferings of Christ, as He 
requires we should honour them ; and hence the Scrip- 
ture says, " The dead that are in hell, whose spirit is 
taken away from their bowels, shall not give glory and 
justice to the Lord ; but the soul which is sorrowful for 
the greatness of the evil she hath done, and goeth bowed 
down and feeble, and the eyes that fail, and the hungry 
soul, giveth glory and justice to Thee, O Lord," Baruch, 
ii. 17. 

Q. 22. If it be so absolutely necessary to do penance 


for our sins, and to imitate the sufferings of Jesus Christ, 
who shall be saved ? for do we not see wickedness and 
vice everywhere reign, and penitential works in a manner 
banished from among us? Does not self-love universally 
prevail, and every one study only his own interest, ease, 
pleasure, and convenience ? Nay, have not the gene- 
rality of mankind a settled aversion to penance ? And 
do not even those who acknowledge and believe the 
obligation of it in theory commonly seek to avoid it in 
practice ? 

A. In answer to all this, it can only be said that these 
too true observations are the most convincing proof of 
that dreadful sentence of Jesus Christ, that " many are 
called, but few are chosen," and that " many walk in 
the broad road that leads to destruction, and few in the 
narrow path that leads to eternal life." 

Q. 23. What advantage, then, have we from the in- 
finite satisfaction paid by Jesus Christ for our sins if we 
be still obliged to do penance for them ? 

A. Immense and admirable are the advantages we 
receive from the satisfaction of Christ : for (i.) It is 
through the merits of His sufferings alone that any peni- 
tential works we do can be acceptable to God ; for if our 
penitential works were separated from the merits of 
Christ, they would be of no value before God, nor of any 
profit to our souls ; but being united to the merits of 
Christ, they acquire a supernatural value and dignity, 
which makes them available to our salvation ; so that 
the satisfaction paid by Christ sanctifies our sufferings, 
gives them a supernatural lustre, and raises them to a 
great value before God, through which they are accepted 
by the Divine justice as a satisfaction on our part for our 
sins ; just as the sorrow, tears, and prayers of Christ 
sanctify these actions in us, and make them agreeable to 


God ; without His sufferings this could never possibly 
have been the case, nor could we have found any ac- 
ceptance with God, though we had suffered all the 
torments of hell for eternity. (2.) It is the satisfaction 
of Christ a/one that delivers us from the eternal punish- 
ment due to our sins, changing it into the small tem- 
poral punishment which he demands from us ; for with- 
out Him nothing we ever could do or suffer, could 
have delivered us from these never-ending torments. 
(3.) In the sacrament of baptism, Almighty God, with 
the most unbounded mercy, applies the merits of Christ 
to our souls without restriction, and accepts of His satis- 
faction in its full extent, so as to deliver us at once from 
all our sins, both original and actual, and from the 
punishment due to them, adopts us as His children, 
and gives us a full right and title to His eternal kingdom. 
So that whatever sins a person may have committed 
before baptism, yet if, after receiving that sacrament 
worthily, he should immediately die, nothing could 
hinder him from the immediate possession of eternal 
bliss. Here the Divine justice gives up all its claim 
against the offender himself — accepting the satisfaction 
of Christ, so fully applied for that purpose ; here the 
infinite merits of Christ have their full effect, and the 
mercy of God appears in all its lustre. 

Q. 24. Why does not God treat sinners in the same 
manner when they repent of the sins committed after 
baptism ? 

A. It does not belong to us to inquire into the reasons 
of the Divine conduct. We should be satisfied with, 
and adore what He has done; and all the testimonies 
which we have seen above prove, beyond reply, that it is 
His will to treat us in a different manner for the sins we 
Commit after baptism than for those before it. Yet a 


little reflection will show us that His conduct in this 
is most reasonable, and that both justice and mercy 
concur to require it. For, with regard to justice, we 
must observe that when we are first received into His 
favour by baptism, for the sake, and in honour of the 
infinite merits of Jesus Christ, He treats us with un- 
limited mercy. Justice, with regard to the offender, 
seems to forego its own rights ; all that He requires of 
us, to entitle us to such amazing mercy, is to believe in 
Jesus Christ, and be sorry for having offended Him, 
with a solemn promise to be faithful for the future ; and 
even this faith, repentance, and promise Pie does not 
actually require when we are baptised in infancy, but 
receives the promise made in our name. Now, if not- 
withstanding all this goodness we afterwards return to 
sin, breaking this solemn vow, this implies such con- 
tempt of God, and such unparalleled ingratitude, that in 
all justice the sinner deserves the most rigorous punish- 
ment ; and it would be unreasonable, and in some 
degree unjust, to admit him again into the possession of 
the same glorious privileges upon the same terms as 
before; therefore the Divine justice here resumes its 
rights against the sinner, and absolutely requires he 
should now suffer in his own person. Even among our- 
selves this is what common sense dictates. On receiving 
a first injury, we cheerfully forgive our enemy, are recon- 
ciled to him, and do him good offices, without requiring 
other satisfaction than his asking pardon and promising 
amendment ; yet, if this person should repeat the same 
or greater injuries, would we again receive him into our 
friendship on the same terms ? Hence the great council 
of Trent says, " The fruits of the sacrament of penance 
are different from those of baptism ; for by baptism we 
put on Christ, and become in Him altogether a new 


creature, receiving the full and entire remission of ajl 
our sins ; but (if we lose this happy state by sin) we can 
by no means acquire the same newness and integrity by 
the sacrament of penance, without great weeping and 
labours upon our part, the Divine justice so requiring it." 
— Sess. xiv. cap. 2. 

Q. 25. But does not this seem to exclude mercy 

A. By no means • the mercy of_God even here appears 
in the strongest light. For, considering the dreadful eyil 
of sin when committed after baptism, a sinner, by com- 
mitting it, forfeits all title to mercy, and God could, 
without injustice, condemn him to eternal punishment, 
treating him with the same rigour of justice with which 
He treated the fallen anarels. It is therefore the effect 
of infinite mercy in God to receive us again into favour 
on any terms ; and it is through the infinite merits of 
Christ alone that He is moved to do so. In baptism 
He suspends His justice, and applies to us only the in- 
finite effects of mercy; but when after so much good- 
ness we return to sin, and by so doing render ourselves 
altogether unworthy of mercy. He alters His conduct 
towards us ; He is still willing, through the merits of 
Christ, to receive us into favour, but upon condition 
that we endeavour to satisfy His justice. He treated 
the fallen angels with the most rigorous justice, without 
mercy. In baptism He treats us with unbounded mercy, 
without regard to justice ; but in being reconciled to us 
for sins committed after baptism, He positively requires 
that justice and mercy should no more be separated, 
but go together. Through the merits of Christ, on our 
sincere repentance. He forgives us our sins, and the 
eternal punishment which they deserve ; but He abso- 
lutely demands that, by penitential works, we punish 


Qurselves for our ingratitude. So that the effect of 
mercy here is not to free us entirely from punishment, 
as in baptism, but to change the eternal into a temporal 
punishment which we are able to perform, and the per- 
formance of which is attended with the greatest advan- 
tage to the soul. What still further shows that it is the 
greatest mercy to require us to do penance is this, that 
" it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living 
God," Heb. x. 31, even in regard to temporal punish- 
nients, as appears from the many examples in Scripture 
of the severity with which His justice punishes sinners 
in this life, even for sins which to us would seem small. 
Almighty God, in commanding us to do penance, remits, 
in a manner, His own right to punish us, accepting 
small sacrifices on our part, instead of much more severe 
chastisements which we would have to suffer, if they 
were inflicted by His Divine justice. What were all the 
penances done by Achab and the Ninivites compared to 
what God had decreed to inflict upon them ? and yet 
because they punished themselves by these small afflic- 
tions He remitted the greater. Besides, the great design 
of the Divine mercy in pardoning sinners is doubtless to 
procure their salvation. Now, mere pardoning past sins 
would not effectually procure this, if proper care were not 
taken to prevent the sinner from falling into sin again. 
Seeing, therefore, that all the unmerited mercies bestowed 
on him in baptism were not suflicient for this purpose, 
a more severe method is required to secure his persever- 
ance — that of doing penance, the most powerful means 
to fortify him against relapse. 

Q. 26. What are the advantages that doing penance 
brings to the soul ? 

A. (i.) // makes us sensible of the grici'ousness of our 
sins. Our great misfortune is, that we have not a just 


idea of sin ; we think too lightly of it ; and if we had 
nothing to suffer for it in this world, we would be apt to 
lose all horror of it, and consequently would take no care 
to avoid it ; but when we see that Almighty God abso- 
lutely requires that we should do penance for sin, this 
shows us that there is something more dreadful in sin 
than we had imagined. This reminds us of what we 
have to expect in the next life, since a good and just God 
requires sin to be so strictly punished here, and conse- 
quently renders us more cautious and careful to avoid it. 
{2.) The very pain of doing penitential works is a great 
check to our proneness to sin, and experience teaches that 
those who diligently punish themselves for their faults 
find in this a powerful help to amendment. (3.) Many 
of the penitejitial works strike directly at the very root of 
our sins, and extirpate the inordinate affections and 
vicious inclinations from whence our sins proceed. (4.) 
Many of them also tend to destroy the bad habits of si?i 
which we have contracted, by obliging us to practise the 
contrary virtues. (5.) They powerfully appease the zvrath 
of God enkindled by our sins, proving the fervour and 
sincerity of our repentance ; they move Him to be 
liberal in His graces to us, that we may be enabled 
effectually to preserve our innocence, and advance in 
solid virtue. 

Q. 27. What is the conclusion to be drawn from all 
these truths? 

A. It is comprehended in these particulars : (i.) That 
the doing penance for our sins is a necessary part of 
true repentance. (2.) That by sin we contract a heavy 
debt of punishment, both temporal and eternal, due to 
the Divine justice. (3.) That our repentance for sin is 
not sincere, neither will it obtain the remission of the 
guilt of sin, nor of the eternal punishment due to it, 


unless it be accompanied with a sincere will and resolu- 
tion to discharge the debt of temporal punishment by- 
doing penance. (4.) That therefore this debt of tem- 
poral punishment remains due, even though the guilt 
of sin and its eternal punishment be remitted. (5.) 
That as justice absolutely demands this .debt from 
sinners, it must be paid, either by voluntary penance 
inflicted on ourselves, or by more severe sufterings sent 
by God, and received by us in a penitential spirit. (6.) 
That if a person should die in the grace of God, but 
before this debt be discharged, he will be thrown into the 
prison of purgatory, where he shall remain till he has 
paid the utmost farthing. (7.) That as no man can know 
the full amount of this debt, and is perhaps daily increas- 
ing it by venial sins and imperfections, it is therefore the 
greatest Christian wisdom to endeavour constantly to 
discharge some part of it, by leading a penitential life of 
daily mortification and self-denial, according to what our 
Saviour Himself enjoins, saying, " Be at agreement with 
thy adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with 
him, lest, perhaps, the adversary deliver thee to the 
judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou 
be cast into prison. Amen, I say to thee, thou shalt not 
go from thence till thou pay the last farthing," Mat. v. 
25. The present life is the way, the Divine justice our 
adversary, God the judge, purgatory the prison. And to 
the same purpose the Church of Christ, in one of her 
greatest and most respected general councils, declares, 
that " The whole life of a Christian ought to be a per- 
petual penance." — Council of Trent, Sess. xiv. on Ex- 
treme-unction, Introduct. 


Section IV. 
On the Spirit of Penance. 

Q. 28. What is meant by the spirit of penance? 

A. The spirit of penance is that sincere sorrow and 
contrition for our sins the necessity of which we have 
seen above ; it is that " sorrow, according to God, which 
worketh penance stedfast unto salvation," 2 Cor. vii. 10. 
The effects which this sorrow worketh in the soul arise 
from the various lights which it brings to the soul, in the 
view of which the sinner is excited to the exercise of 
those penitential works which contribute most powerfully 
to secure his eternal salvation. For (i.) The true spirit 
of penance shows the sinner the multitude and grievous- 
ness of his sins in their true colours, excites a horror 
and detestation of them, and a proper sense of his own 
demerits for being guilty of them, and renders him willing 
to undergo any sufferings as a just punishment. In this 
view the spirit of penance is a spirit of justice, condemn- 
ing the criminal to condign punishment. (2.) It shows 
the sinner the greatness of the injury done to the God of 
heaven by sin, fills him with grief and sorrow for having 
so often and so grievously offended and dishonoured so 
good a God, excites in him a sincere desire of repairing 
the Divine honour to the best of his power, and for this 
purpose makes him cheerfully condemn himself to works 
of humiliation and penance. In this light the spirit of 
penance is a spirit of restitution and satisfaction, by which 
the honour of God, injured by sin, is repaired. (3.) It 
convinces the sinner that his unmortified passions and 
affections, besides being the declared enemies of God, are 
his own greatest enemies, having so often dragged him into 


sin and exposed him to the danger of eternal damnation; 
it therefore excites in his soul a just hatred against these 
his mortal enemies, by which he rigorously chastises his 
body and brings it into subjection, both as a just punish- 
ment for past offences and to prevent its betraying him 
again, lest he should at last become a castaicay. So the 
spirit of penance is a spirit of hatred and revenge against 
our self-love in all its branches. (4.) It gives the sinner 
a just sense of all the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and of 
the infinite obligations we owe Him ; shows him the 
base ingratitude of renewing these sufferings by sin, and 
excites in his soul a tender compassion and ardent love 
of Jesus Christ, a sincere sorrow for having been the 
guilty cause of so much torment to Him, and an earnest 
desire of resembling Him, and bearing the Cross along 
with Him ; in consequence of this he cheerfully con- 
demns himself to works of penance, that he may honour 
the sufferings, and follow the example of his beloved 
Master. In this view, the spirit of penance is a spirit of 
compassion and love of Jesus Christ, and of conformity 
to His holy example. 

Q. 29. What are the signs by which we may know if 
we have the true spirit of penance? 

A. " By their fruits ye shall know them." The surest 
signs that this holy spirit resides in the soul are the 
effects it produces. These we have in a great measure 
seen already, but they are minutely enumerated by St 
Paul in these words : " Behold this self-same thing, that 
you were made sorrowful according to God, how great 
carefulness doth it work in you ; yea defence, yea indig- 
nation, yea fear, yea desire, yea zeal, yea revenge," 2 
Cor. vii. II. (i.) Carefulness dihont the great concerns 
of salvation, convincing the sinner of the supreme im- 
portance of that great work, and of the vanity of all other 


pursuits, and therefore renders him careful and diligent 
to secure it. (2.) Defence — this carefulness is not an 
idle anxiety of mind, but an active principle, which 
makes us use all necessary means for defending our soul 
against all its enemies, by prayer, spiritual reading, fre- 
quenting the holy sacraments, and other such helps to 
salvation. (3.) Indignation and hatred against sin, and 
all the dangerous occasions of sin, which the spirit of 
penance makes us fly from and avoid, though otherwise 
as useful or dear to us as a hand or an eye. (4.) Fear^ 
of the judgment of God and of hell-fire, and especially 
the fear of offending again so good a God, which is the 
beginning of true wisdom, and makes us " work out our 
salvation with fear and trembling." (5.) Desire of flying 
as far from sin as possible, and of daily advancing our 
soul in the union and love of God, giving " us a hunger 
and thirst after justice." (6.) Zeal iox the glory of God, 
and for destroying all His and our enemies, our own 
passions, by self-denial and mortification ; and for pro- 
moting His honour to the utmost of our power, consider- 
ing our infinite obligations to His goodness. (7.) 
Revenge^ vindicating the rights of the Divine justice, 
by cheerfully punishing ourselves for past sins. Happy 
those in whom these blessed fruits of the true spirit of 
penance are found ! 

Q. 30. What are the means by which we may obtain 
the spirit of penance ? 

A. (i.) The spirit of penance is the gift of God, as our 
holy faith teaches ; for when St Peter gave an account to 
the brethren of the conversion of the Gentiles, in the 
person of Cornelius and his friends, " they glorified God, 
saying, God then hath also to the Gentiles given repent- 
ance unto life," Acts, xi. 18. And St Paul exhorts 
Timothy, "with modesty to admonish them that resist 


the truth, if peradventure God may give them repentance 
to know the truth," 2 Tim. ii. 25. Nay, it is one of the 
most necessary gifts we can receive from God, as without 
it there is no salvation for sinners. Now the Scripture 
assures us that " our heavenly Father will readily give 
His Holy Spirit to them that ask it," Luke, xi. 13. Con- 
sequently the first and principal means to obtain the holy 
spirit of penance is humble and fervent prayer. This the 
holy servants of God well knowing were assiduous in 
their prayers for this purpose : " Convert, me, O Lord, 
and I shall be converted," saith Jeremiah, "for Thou art 
my God," Jer. xxxi. 18; and David, "Convert us, O 
Lord ! and we shall be converted ; show Thy face, and 
we shall be saved," Ps. Jxxix. 4, where this prayer is fre- 
quently repeated. (2.) We must avoid and fly from all 
those things which would hinder the spirit of penance 
from coming to our souls — such as idle company, dissi- 
pating diversions, plays, dancing, jesting, profane read- 
ing, vain apparel, &:c. All which things dissipate the 
heart, fill the mind with a world of idle ideas, carry off 
the thoughts, are destructive of the spirit of penance, and 
therefore particularly unbecoming, and unworthy to be 
thought of in penitential times. (3.) We must apply 
ourselves seriously to the consideration and practice of 
those things which promote and excite truly penitential 
dispositions in the soul ; such as serious meditation on 
the four last things, and the great truths of eternity, the 
practice of self-denial and mortification, with works of 
charity and mercy; for experience shows that as those 
who live pleasant lives and pamper the body never 
acquire sentiments of penance, so those who practise the 
works of penance soon obtain the true spirit of it. (4.) 
Serious and frequent meditation on the great evils of sin 
contributes in a particular manner to excite the spirit of 


penance in the soul, giving us a just sense of the heinous 
evil of sin, of the greatness of the injury done by it to 
God, and of its dreadful consequences to ourselves. The 
want of this knowledge, or the failing to reflect upon it, 
is one of the principal causes why we fall so easily into 
the misery of sin. 

Section V. 
Of the Works of Penance. 

Q. 31. What is understood by works of penance? 

A. Works of penance are any kind of punishment 
which the sinner willingly undergoes, in order to satisfy 
for sin ; and as the nature of punishment requires that 
it be painful and afflicting to self-love, so anything what- 
soever that is naturally painful and afflicting to us, and 
which we willingly undergo with the view of satisfying for 
our sins, is a penitential work. 

Q. 32. Why do you %2ij that is Jiaturally painful atid 
afflicting to 7is 1 

A. Penance or punishment is what naturally gives 
pain ; if it gave no pain it would be no punishment. 
Now it may sometimes happen that a penitential work 
which naturally gives pain, yet in certain circumstances 
may give none to a person when he uses it ; but it 
does not cease on that account to be a penitential work 
even to him. Thus some find no difficulty in abstaining 
from flesh-meat ; others experience little or no pain in 
fasting ; yet if these people, when obedience requires it, 
perform these works out of a penitential spirit, to them 
they are truly penitential works. In like manner a 
person may be so far advanced in the love of God, and 
in the virtue of holy mortification, as to have, in a great 


measure, conquered the natural inclinations of flesh and 
blood, and even to find pleasure in those things which 
are naturally painful ; yet this, so far from lessening the 
value of the penitential works of that person, greatly 
increases it, and shows the ardour of his love to God, 
from which they proceed. 

Q- 3Z- Why do you say, 7C'ith a view of doifig penance 1 
A. Because, though the work be ever so painful, yet, 
if we undergo it without the intention of doing penance, 
it will be no penance at all ; and, if done with any evil 
view, will even be displeasing to God : as our Saviour 
expressly declares of the three great penitential works 
of fasting, alms-giving, and prayer, if they be done with 
the view of gaining " praise from men," Mat. vi. The 
reason is, because in order to be a penitential work it 
must proceed from the spirit of penance. This is the 
root, the principal part of penance, without which the 
exterior works signify nothing. And God Almighty sets 
such a value upon this internal disposition, that though 
the external work be small, yet if it proceed from, and be 
accompanied with, a truly penitential spirit, it becomes 
of great value before Him. What can be easier than to 
giv^e a cup of cold water to a thirsty person ? yet Christ 
Himself declares that, if done for His sake, it shall not 
lose its reward. In like manner, what can be a smaller 
penitential work than to deprive one's self of a cup of 
water? Yet it is recorded in sacred writ as a very 
great action of David, that when three of his valiant 
men, at the risk of their lives, brought him water from a 
cistern, which he had taken a longing for, " he would not 
drink, but offered it to the Lord," 2 Kings (Sam.) xxiii. 
16. This ought to be a comfort to those who are not 
able to do great things : let them do the little they can, 
with a truly penitential spirit, and it will be accepted. 

VOL. I. X 


Q. 34. Into how many classes are penitential works 
divided ? 

A. Into three classes, (i.) Those which we are com- 
manded to undergo, under pain of sin, if we disobey. (2.) 
Those which are left to our own free choice, according 
to our particular wants, without any other command than 
the general one of doing penance for sin ; and (3.) 
Those which we are forced to undergo by the order of 
Providence, whether we will or not ; but where it is 
left to ourselves to make the proper penitential use of 

Q. 35. What are the penitential works which we are 
commanded to undergo, under pain of sin if we disobey? 

A. Chiefly these following : — (i.) The cofifessio?i of our 
sins in the sacrament of penance. This is a great penance 
and humiliation to our con-upt nature and to self-love ; 
but it is imposed upon us by Almighty God, in place of 
that shame and confusion which will overwhelm sinners 
at the last day, continue for all eternity, and prove one 
of the greatest punishments of sin in the next life. Now, 
as the penitential works of this life are laid upon us by 
the justice and mercy of God, in exchange for those of 
eternity, therefore He has been pleased to appoint the 
momentary shame and confusion of confessing our sins here 
to one man like ourselves, in exchange for that eternal 
confusion which we must otherwise undergo in the next 
life. Hence this is a penance laid by God Himself upon 
all, without exception, who have offended Him by mortal 
sin ; and it is commanded with such strictness, that the 
guilt of sin will not be washed away from our souls unless 
it be properly complied with. (2.) All those penitential 
works which our pastor enjoins us ifi the sacrament of 
pefiance. This also is a penance which we are obliged 
to perform by the express command of God ; and it is 


without doubt one of the most profitable for our souls ; 
because, being a part of the sacrament, it is sanctified by 
the grace annexed, and therefore raised to a much higher 
value in the sight of God than other penitential works, 
though perhaps more painful, which we do of our own choice. 
It has also the merit of obedience, which gives it still a 
greater merit. Now, the obligation we are under of per- 
forming this sacramental penance is shown by the wor^s 
of our Saviour to the pastors of His Church, in the per- 
sons of the apostles, when He said, "Whatsoever you 
shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what- 
soever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in 
heaven," Mat. xvi. 19. For, as by the latter words. He 
assures us that when our pastor looses us from our sins 
here on earth, we are loosed from them in heaven ; so 
by the former He equally declares that when we are 
bound on earth by them to perform penance, this obliga- 
tion is ratified in heaven ; for the general term whatsoever 
includes all. But we must not imagine that, when we 
have faithfully performed our sacramental penance, we 
have thereby discharged all we owe to the Divine justice. 
Alas ! what proportion is there between the penances 
commonly enjoined in the sacrament and the sins by 
which we have oftended God? In ancient times the 
penances imposed on sinners were exceedingly severe, 
and often continued for years ; but as the love of God 
waxed cold, the Church was obliged to moderate this 
discipline, lest through weakness and tepidity Christians 
should fail to perform them. At present the penances 
imposed in the sacrament are small, much being left to 
the penitent's own devotion; and if he is deficient, it 
must be exacted by God Himself, either here or here- 
after. (3.) The public fasts commanded by the Church. 
These also we are obliged, by the command of God, faith- 


fully to observe ; and if we do so with a truly penitential 
spirit, they will prove exceedingly useful in discharging 
the debt we owe to the Divine justice, especially as by 
them we also partake of what the whole Church is doing 
at the same time. 

Q. 36. What are those works of penance which are 
left to our own choice ? 

A, They are divided into three classes, and consist in 
punishing ourselves either in our external senses, or in 
the passions and affections of the mind and heart, or in 
the flesh. The two first are seldom attended with any 
danger from excess, and in them consists the exercise of 
that self-denial and mortification of the will so much 
recommended in the Gospel, and so strictly required by 
Jesus Christ from His followers ; therefore, in practising 
them, we are sure of doing what is most agreeable to 
God. The third class contains bodily mortifications, by 
which, with St Paul, we " chastise the body, and bring 
it into subjection ;" but as the indiscreet use of these 
may be attended with consequences dangerous to health, 
proper caution and advice ought to be taken in practis- 
ing them. The practice of each class is as follows : (i.) 
As to the external senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, kc, 
by them we in many ways offend God ; and doing 
penance consists in depriving them of what is agreeable 
to them, even though the object be innocent, but espe- 
cially if it be sinful or dangerous. Thus Job "made a 
covenant with his eyes, that he should not so much as 
think upon a virgin," Job, xxxi. 1. And David would 
not hear another speak ill of his neighbour in his pre- 
sence : " The man that in private detracted his neigh- 
bour, him did I persecute," Ps. c. 5. Daniel also says 
of himself, " Desirable bread I did not eat, and wine 
and flesh did not enter my mouth." It also consists in 


forcing the senses to undergo what is disagreeable, but 
not hurtful, as David did when " he mingled ashes with 
his bread." To this class also belongs doing penance in 
the tongue by silence, speaking ill of none, defending the 
absent, and the like. (2.) As to the passions and affec- 
tions of the soul, as they are the principal springs of all 
our sins, the doing penance in them is of a wide extent, 
and of the greatest necessity for the amendment of our 
life, as well as for the punishment of past offences. The 
chief way of doing penance here is to force ourselves to 
the practice of those virtues which are contrary to our 
vicious affections ; to mortify avarice by alms-deeds ; 
hatred, by speaking well of, doing good to, and praying 
for our enemies ; pride, by acts of humility and obedi- 
ence ; gluttony, by eating things unpleasant to the taste ; 
drunkenness, by a total abstinence from strong drinks, 
and the like. Under this class comes also the mortify- 
ing all idle curiosity of seeing or hearing things which do 
not belong to nor concern us ; all vanity in dress, furni- 
ture, and the like. (3.) As to bodily penances, they are 
included under the three general heads of prayer, fasting, 
and alms-deeds, which are most profitable to those who 
properly practise them. Under this head are included 
some particular kinds of bodily penances taken notice of 
in Scripture, such as hair-cloth, of which it is recorded 
that Judith wore a " hair-cloth next her loins all the days 
of her hfe," Judith, viii. 6. And David says of himself, 
" I was clothed with hair-cloth, I humbled my soul with 
fasting," Ps. xxxiv. 13. "I covered my soul with fast- 
ing. ... I made hair-cloth my garment," Ps. Ixviii. 1 1, 
12. And when he saw the destroying angel causing the 
plague among his people, in punishment of his sins, " both 
he and the ancients, clothed in hair-cloth, fell down flat 
on the ground," i Chron. xxi. 16. So also, in the famous 


siege of Samaria, the king " rent his garments, and passed 
by upon the wall, and all the people saw the hair-cloth 
which he wore within next his flesh," 4 Kings, vi. 30. In 
this manner did these holy persons do penance for their 
sins, and appease the wrath of God. St John the Baptist, 
also, though most innocent, is a great model of this kind 
of penance, being clothed with a garment made of hair. 

Watching is another work of penance much recom- 
mended by examples in Scripture. " Oh God, my 
God," says David, " to Thee I watch by break of day," 
Ps. Ixii. ; and, "' I rose at midnight to give praise to 
God," Ps. cxviii. Of the truly wise man also it is said, 
"He will give his heart to resort by daybreak to the 
Lord, and will pray in the sight of the Most High," 
Ecclus. xxxix. 6 ; and the manna, " which could not be 
destroyed by fire, being warmed with a little sunbeam, 
presently melted away, that it might be known to all 
that we must prevent the sun to bless Thee, and adore 
Thee at the dawning of the light," Wisd. xvi. 27. Our 
Saviour Himself watched whole nights in prayer, St 
Paul exhorts us to approve ourselves as servants of 
Christ, " in fasting, in watching," 2 Cor. vi. 5 ; and tells 
us that it was his own practice to chastise his body " in 
labour, in toil, in many watchings," 2 Cor. xi. 27. In all 
which we see that this holy penitential work of watching 
consists in moderating the quantity of our sleep, in inter- 
rupting it, and getting up early in the morning to praise 
God and pray to Him. 

Hard lying also is another penitential work pointed 
out to us strongly in the Word of God. When David's 
child was sick he "fasted and lay upon the ground" 
seven days, to move God to mercy, and to obtain the 
life of the child. Among the penitential works by which 
Achab found mercy with God, one was that he " slept in 


sackcloth ;" and Joel exhorts the people to have recourse 
to the same means of finding mercy : " Gird yourselves 
and lament, O ye priests. ... Go in and lie in sack- 
cloth, ye servants of my God," Joel, i. 13. Ah, if the 
saints of God did penance in this manner, what ought we 
sinners to do ! 

Q. 37. What are those penitential works which we 
must undergo whether we will or not? 

A. The miseries and troubles to which we are daily 
exposed in this life, and which we cannot avoid. Were 
we diligent in performing the penitential works contained 
in the former classes, we might easily discharge a great 
part of the debt we owe to the Divine justice \ but, alas ! 
our backwardness in that respect is most deplorable, and 
therefore Almighty God, out of His infinite goodness, 
sends us many trials and afflictions of different kinds, as 
it were to force us to our real good. Now the sufferings 
He sends are surely the most proper for us ; and, as we 
must unavoidably undergo them, it becomes an easy 
matter to discharge our debt by their means. All that is 
required is to bear them with a penitential spirit, receiv- 
ing them with patience and submission from the hand of 
God, and taking them as a penance sent by Him for our 
sins. Penitential works of this class are innumerable, 
(i.) The toils and labours of our state of life, are a 
penance laid upon us by God from the very fall of 
Adam, in punishment of which God said to Adam, 
" Cursed is the earth in thy work ; with labour and 
toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life \ 
in the sweat of thy brow thou shalt earn thy bread," 
Gen. iii. What a field of penitential works does this give 
to servants, husbandmen, tradesmen, &c. ? (2.) The 
inclemencies of the weather, heat, cold, rain, frost, snow, 
&c., afford to all abundant matter for the same purpose. 


(3.) Distractions, aridities, and desolations in time of 
prayer, are a just punishment for the many times we 
have been deaf to the calls of God, resisted His graces, 
and given place to idle, unprofitable, or sinful thoughts ; 
but if borne with a penitential spirit, will be an effectual 
discharge of the debt we have contracted by these faults. 
(4.) Your children are obstinate, and a torment to you ; 
remember how you behaved towards your parents, your 
negligence in bringing up your own children, and take 
the pain they give you as a penance sent from God for 
these sins. (5.) Servants, your masters and mistresses 
are harsh and ill-tempered : Masters, your servants are 
disobedient and careless ; what noble opportunities does 
this give to each of offering up a daily penance most 
acceptable to God ? Sickness and pain attack you ; 
here also is a large and excellent field for making up 
your account with God to your great advantage. And 
so of all the other crosses which God sends upon us in 
this life, which there is no avoiding, but which may 
easily be turned to the best account by bearing them in 
penance for our sins. But, oh ! how contrary is our 
conduct in all these cases to what it ought to be ! And 
how often do we abuse these occasions which God sends 
us, and turn them into occasions of increasing our guilt 
and our debt by impatience and murmuring under them ! 
How unreasonable is our conduct in this respect ! How 
great our folly ! 

Section VI. 

Of the Effects of true Repmtaiice in the Remission of Sin. 

Q. 38. Does true repentance remit sin, or wash it 
away from the soul ? 

A. By no means; the remission of sin is solely the 


work of God, and nothing but His grace can wash away 
the stains of sin from the soul. 

Q. 39. What part then has repentance in the pardon 
of sin ? 

A. It (i.) Disposes the soul for receiving from God 
the pardon of sin ; for without repentance the soul is 
utterly incapable of being restored to the favour and 
mercy of God, seeing that, as long as the soul loves sin, 
God must infallibly hate her. (2.) It efficaciously moves 
God to grant us pardon, because, as Jesus Christ has 
merited for us the pardon of our sins, on condition of 
sincere repentance, and as God has repeatedly promised 
pardon to the repenting sinner, consequently true re- 
pentance can never fail to obtain from God the pardon 
of sin ; He is bound in justice to Jesus Christ, and in 
fidelity to His own promises, to grant it. Besides, true 
repentance is a gift of God ; it is His holy grace that 
first moves the sinner to it ; it is holy grace which 
enables the sinner to complete it, insomuch that, with- 
out the grace of God, it is impossible truly to repent; 
consequently, when God gives to a sinner the grace of 
repentance, undoubtedly He will also give the pardon of 
his sins, with a view to which the grace of repentance 
was bestowed. 

Q. 40. What is meant by the pardon or remission of 
sin ; — in what does it consist ? 

A. We have seen above that sin defiles, pollutes, and 
stains the soul in a most miserable manner, and renders 
her hateful in the sight of God, hideous, loathsome to 
Him and His holy angels. Now, as long as these 
defilements of sin remain in the soul, it is impossible 
God should be reconciled to her. When, therefore, 
upon the sinner's sincere repentance, Almighty God, 
through the merits of Christ, pardons sin, He cleanses the 


soul by His justifying grace ; this renders her beautiful 
and agreeable to God, and restores her to His friend- 
ship and favour. So that the pardon or remission of 
sin, properly speaking, consists in delivering the soul 
from the guilt of sin, adorning her with the grace of God, 
and restoring her to His favour. 

Q. 41. How does it appear that Almighty God takes 
away and destroys all the stains and guilt of sin from the 
soul when He pardons sin ? 

A. This is manifestly shown from many clear testi- 
monies of Scripture, (i.) From those which expressly 
affirm it ; thus God promises by His prophet, " I will 
pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed 
from all your filthiness," Ezek. xxxvi. 25. God "will 
turn again and have mercy on us ; He will put away our 
iniquities, and He will cast all our sins into the bottom 
of the sea," Micha, vii. 19. Before David fell, he said to 
God, " Thou hast tried me by fire, and iniquity hath not 
been found in me," Ps. xvi. 3. But after his unhappy 
fall he prayed, " Wash me yet more from my iniquity, 
and cleanse me from my sins, . . . and blot out all 
mine iniquities," Ps. 1. 4, 11. And afterwards, describ- 
ing the pardon he had received, he said, '' As far as the 
east is from the west, so hath He removed our iniquities 
from us," Ps. cii. 12. The angel also touched Isaiah's 
lips with a coal, and said, " Behold, this hath touched 
thy lips, and thy iniquity shall be taken away, and thy 
sins shall be cleansed," Isa. vi. 7. St Peter also, in his 
sermon to the Jews, says, " Repent ye therefore, and be 
converted, that your sins may be blotted out," Acts, iii. 
19. (2.) From those texts where this is expressly 
declared to be the benefit obtained for us by Jesus 
Christ ; thus, He is " the Lamb of God that taketh 
away the sins of the world," John, i. 29. " The Blood 


of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin," i 
John, i. 7 ; for " He hath loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in His Blood," Rev. i. 5 ; " For if the blood of 
goats and of oxen, &c., sanctify such as are defiled to 
the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the 
Blood of Christ cleanse our conscience from dead 
works?" Heb. ix. 14. (3.} From those texts which 
declare this to be done from the sacrament of baptism ; 
thus, " Arise and be baptised, and wash away your 
sins," Acts, xxii. 16 ; and St Paul, speaking of different 
grievous sins, says, "And such some of you were, but 
you are washed, but you are sanctified in the name of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God," 
I Cor. vi. II. 

Q. 42. By what means does Almighty God wash our 
souls from the guilt of our sins, when He grants us 
pardon for them? 

A. By His holy grace, or Divine charity, which He 
pours into the soul ; by His Holy Spirit, which washes 
away all the stains of sin, and also beautifies the soul, 
making her just and holy in His sight ; " Because the 
charity of God is poured abroad in our hearts by the 
Holy Ghost, Who is given to us," Rom. v. 5. 




Q. I. T T 7HAT is the grace of God? 

V V ^. It is a supernatural gift of God, 
not at all due to us ; a Divine quality communicated 
by God to the soul, which cleanses her from all the 
stains of sin, and renders her beautiful and pleasing in 
the eyes of God : It is also a Divine help, which excites 
us and enables us to do good and avoid evil. 

Q. 2. How many kinds of grace are there? 

A. Principally two kinds, actual grace and sanctifying 

Q. 3. What good does actual grace do to us ? 

A. It fortifies and strengthens the soul. 

Q. 4. What good does sanctifying grace do to us ? 

A. It cleanses and beautifies the soul. 

Section I. 
Of Actual Grace. 

Q. 5. What is actual grace ? 

A. Actual grace is an internal supernatural help, which 
God communicates to the soul, to enable us to do good 
and avoid evil. 


Q. 6. How does this actual grace operate on the soul ? 

A. (i.) By enlightenmg the understanding, to see what 
ought to be done or avoided, and inclining the Avill 
towards what is good, or averting it from evil ; and, on 
this account, it is called cxciti7ig grace and preventing 
grace. It is called exciting grace, because it excites and 
invites us, as it were, to do good and avoid evil ; and it is 
called prreenting grace, because it is wholly the work of 
God in our souls, and precedes every deliberate or 
voluntary act of our own, as experience teaches us ; for 
we feel those holy inspirations arise in our souls, without 
anything done by us to procure them, or having it in 
our power to hinder them ; though, when they do come, 
we have it in our power either to comply with or to 
resist them. (2.) When we freely comply with this 
first motion of actual grace, it continues to fortify and 
strengthen us to go on and perfect the good work we 
have begun; and on this account it is called concomitant 
grace, because it accompanies us during the whole good 
action; 2CCi^ strengthening or helping gxdiCt, because it assists 
our weakness, and enables us to perform it. 

Q. 7. What does the Scripture say of this actual grace? 

A. Our Saviour says Himself, " Behold, I stand at the 
door and knock." See here the exciting grace ; and He 
immediately adds, " If any man shall hear My voice, and 
open to jMe the door, I will come in to him, and will 
sup with him, and he with Me," Rev. iii. 20. Behold 
the helping grace, or the continuation of His actual 
grace, when we comply with its first motions in our 
souls. To the same effect St Paul says, " It is God 
Who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, 
according to His good pleasure," Phil. ii. 13. God 
worketh in us to will, by His e.xciting grace, without 
which we could never of ourselves have a good thought : 


and to accomplish by His helping grace, without which 
we can do nothing. David was very sensible of this 
when he said, " My God, His mercy shall prevent me," 
Ps. Iviii. II. And again, "Thou hast held me by my 
right hand, and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me," 
Ps. Ixxii. 24 " And Thy mercy shall follow me all the 
days of my life," Ps. xxii. 6. On this subject St Paul 
also says, " He Who hath begim the good work in you 
shall perfect it," Phil. i. 6 ; to show that it is God Who 
first begins, and then enables us by His help to perfect 
the good work. 

Q. 8. Can we, by our own natural strength, without 
the help of God's grace, do anything towards salvation ? 

A. No, we cannot, either in thought, word, or deed, 
nor so much as have a good movement of our heart 
towards God unless it be first excited by Him. As this 
is a point of the greatest importance, the foundation of 
true Christian humility, and the source of all good to our 
souls, it is necessary to establish it in the clearest man- 
ner ; the more so, because our pride — the deepest and 
most dangerous wound our nature has received from sin 
— recoils at this truth, and endeavours to conceal it from 
our eyes. From this unhappy blindness towards our- 
selves, and towards our own weakness and misery, in- 
numerable evils flow : wherefore we must consider fully 
what the Word of God teaches us concerning this great 
Christian truth. 

(i.) No man can take a single step towards Jesus 
Christ unless he be moved and assisted thereto by God. 
This our Saviour declares in express terms : " No man 
can come to Me except the Father Who hath sent Me 
draw him," John, vi. 44, not by compulsion, nor by lay- 
ing the free-will of man under any necessity, but by the 
strong and sweet motions of His heavenly grace; and 


therefore a little after, repeating the same truth, He says, 
" No man can come to Me, unless it be given him of My 
Father," ver. 66 ; to show that this grace is not a force 
or constraint put upon us, but a gift of God, an effect of 
His mercy, enlightening our minds to see and inclining 
our wills to do what is good, and when we consent to 
and comply with that inclination, assisting us to com- 
plete the good work. St Paul also says, " It is not of 
him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God 
that showeth mercy," Rom. ix. 16. Because no natural 
will nor endeavour of our own can ever lead us towards 
Christ, unless we be excited thereto by the preventing 
mercy of God. 

(2.) We cannot have true faith in Jesus Christ, nor 
believe the sacred truths of eternity with Divine faith, 
without the help of His grace. Thus St Paul declares, 
" To you it is given for Christ to believe in Him," Phil, 
i. 29. And again, " By grace you are saved through faith ; 
and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God," Eph. 
ii. 8. Hence the Church of Christ, by her general 
councils, pronounces anathema upon those who teach 
that, " without the preventing inspiration and help of the 
Holy Ghost, a man can believe as he ought,"' Cone. 
Trid. Sess. 6, can. 3. 

{3.) A sinner cannot, by his own strength, repent of 
his sins as he ought, unless he receives the grace of re- 
pentance from the mercy of God. This we have seen 
above, in the preceding chapter, Jtvii. sec. 4, to which 
add what St Paul writes to the Ephesians, attributing 
this favour entirely to the mercy, grace, and love of 
God. " God," says he, " who is rich in mercy, for His 
exceeding great charity, wherewith He loves us, even 
when we were dead by sins, hath quickened us together 
in Christ, by Whose grace ye are saved," Eph. ii. 4. 


(4.) We can neither think a good thought nor speak 
a good word which can be useful towards our salvation 
without the assistance of God ; for we are not sufficient 
to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our 
sufficiency is from God, 2 Cor. iii. 5. " Wherefore I 
give you to understand . . . that no man can say the 
Lord Jesus but by the Holy Ghost," i Cor. xii. 3. And 
hence the wise man says, " It is the part of the Lord to 
govern the tongue," Prov. xvi. i, to show that we can 
never speak what is good and conducive to our salvation 
unless the Lord guide and assist us in what we say. 

(5.) We cannot do a good action, or produce any good 
fruit conducive to eternal happiness, without the help of 
God. " I am the vine," says Jesus Christ, " you the 
branches ; he that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the 
same beareth much fruit, for without Me you can do 
nothing," John, xv. 5. He does not say, without Me 
you can do little — because this would suppose we could 
do something of ourselves ; but He says absolutely, 
"Without Me you can do nothing," to show that, 
whether little or much, we cannot do it without His 

In a word, whatever we do towards our salvation, 
whatever progress we make in virtue or Christian per- 
fection, all flows from the mercy and grace of God 
through Jesus Christ. It is He " Who worketh in us 
both to will and to accomplish, according to His good 
pleasure," Phil. ii. 13. " It is He who begins the good- 
work in us, and Who also perfects it," Phil. i. 6. And 
hence St Paul acknowledges that all the good that is in 
him, and all the good works he had wrought, flowed 
from this Divine grace and mercy; "By the grace of 
God," says he, " I am what I am, and His grace in me 
hath not been void ; but I have laboured more abun- 


dantly than all they ; yet not I, but the grace of God 
with me," i Cor. xv. 10. 

Q. 9. Why does the apostle say, the grace of God with 
me ? 

A. By these words he shows that, although Almighty 
God is always the first to begin the good work in us, by 
His exciting and preventing grace; and although it is 
God ^Vho carries on the good work in us to perfection, 
by His assisting grace ; yet it is not grace alone that does 
it, but that we must also co-operate with this grace, freely 
consenting to its motions in our soul, and willingly per- 
forming the good work to which it inclines and assists us. 
Almighty God luill ai?'e your ifijirmities, says St Augus- 
tine; but "you must be willing yourself; He heals all 
that are infirm, but He heals none but those who are 
willing to be cured," in Ps. 102, n. 6. He stands at the 
door of our heart and knocks, by His preventing grace ; 
but we must yield to His call, and open the door of our 
heart to Him, if we want Him to come in and sup with 
us ; for, as the same St Augustine says, " He that made 
you without you" — that is, without any co-operation on 
your part — "will not justify you without you" — that is, 
without your will and co-operation. 

Q. 10. Is it in our power to resist this grace of God, 
and not consent to it? 

A. Most certainly. The grace of God does not force 
us, nor take away our free-will : it assists our weakness, 
and enables us to will and do Avhat we could neither will 
nor do without it ; consequently, whether we consent to 
the motions of grace or resist them, in either case we act 
with the full freedom of our will : when we consent, we 
have it in our power to resist; and when we resist, we are 
able to consent. Free-will is an essential part of our 
nature; for "God made man from the beginning, and 

VOL. I. Y 


left him in the hand of his own counsel. He added His 
commandments and precepts : If thou wilt keep the com- 
mandments and perform acceptable fidelity for ever, they 
shall preserve thee. He hath set water and fire before 
thee ; stretch forth thy ho.nd to which thou wilt. Before 
man is life and death, good and evil ; that which he shall 
choose shall be given him," Ecclus. xv. 14. This liberty 
and free-will with which God created man was greatly 
diminished by original sin, and our power of doing good 
exceedingly weakened, from the violence of concupiscence 
strengthened in our souls by sin. Now, the grace of 
Jesus Christ cures this infirmity, fortifies and perfects 
our liberty, exciting us to good, and enabling us to 
perform it ; but it by no means forces our will. Nay, 
sad experience teaches us that we too often resist 
the motions of grace ; which, alas ! is the source of all 
our woe. 

Q. II. Why do you say that, without the help of God's 
grace, 7ve can do Jiothing towards our salvation ? 

A. That is to say, that whatever good action we may 
do by the mere strength of nature, and without the aid of 
the grace of Jesus Christ, can never, in any manner, con- 
duce to our eternal salvation ; because " there is no other 
name given to men under heaven, by which we can be 
saved, but the Name of Jesus only, neither is there salva- 
tion in any other," Acts, iv. 12. Consequently, whatever 
we do independent of Him, however laudable it may be 
in itself, or in the eyes of men, can in no way contribute, 
neither mediately nor immediately, towards our salvation. 
Nothing can conduce, in any degree, towards our salva- 
tion, but through the merits of Christ. The merits of 
Jesus Christ are applied to our souls only by His grace : 
whatever, then, we do in union with His grace, partakes 
of His merits; and whatever we do without His grace, 


and by the mere power of nature, partakes not of His 
merits, and therefore cannot avail towards salvation ; 
hence He himself says, " Without Me you can do no- 
thing " — namely, nothing conducive to salvation ; and St 
Paul says, "No man can say, Lord Jesus, but by the 
Holy Spirit " — that is, no man can say it so as to conduce 
to his salvation. 

Q. 1 2. But can man do anything good at all without 
the grace of God ? 

A. Observe, although our nature was greatly vitiated 
by sin, yet it was not totally corrupted and lost to all 
good. There still remain in us some sparks of that 
original rectitude in which we were created ; and hence, 
among the numberless vicious dispositions of the heart 
of man, there are few or no persons to be found who 
have not some good natural inclinations — some to one 
moral virtue, some to another. Thus some are 
inclined to compassion, some to generosity, others to 
honesty in their dealings. Now, though these good 
natural dispositions will not sustain a man when 
they are opposed by violent passions, yet- in ordinary 
cases he may act according to them, and when he does 
he performs a good moral action. This he certainly 
may do by the mere strength of nature : and though 
such actions can in no respect conduce to salvation, 
which is a supernatural reward, yet they do not fail 
to receive from God some temporal recompense, for 
the divine justice " will render to every one according to 
his works." 

Q. 13. As we cannot possibly do anything conducive 
to our eternal salvation without the actual grace of God 
exciting us, and aiding us thereto, does God bestow this 
grace upon all men without exception? 

A. It would certainly be the height of impiety to sup- 


pose that God would lay His commands upon us His 
creatures, and oblige us to obey them, under pain of 
eternal damnation, the most dreadful of evils, and at the 
same time withhold those helps without which it is im- 
possible to observe them. Nothing can be more con- 
trary to every idea we have of the wisdom, goodness, 
and justice of God, than such a supposition. Seeing then 
that God commands all men without exception to do 
good and avoid evil. He certainly gives to all the grace 
necessary to enable them to do so, and by doing so to 
save their souls. This truth is laid down to us in 
the Scripture as follows : " Wisdom preacheth abroad, 
she uttereth her voice in the streets ; at the head of 
the multitudes she cries out, in the entrance of 
the gates of the city she uttereth her words, saying, O 
children, how long will you love childishness, and fools 
covet those things which are hurtful to themselves, and 
the unwise hate knowledge ? Turn ye at my reproof : 
behold I will utter my spirit to you, and will shew you 
my words," Prov. i. 20. So speaks the wisdom of God 
in all places, and to all men, reproving them for their 
evil ways, inviting them to good, and promising the 
Divine Spirit to those that give ear to His invitations. 
Again, "Thou hast mercy upon all, because Thou canst 
do all things, and winkest at the sins of men because of 
repentance. For Thou lovest all things that are, and 
hatest nothing of the things that Thou hast made — but 
thou sparest all because they are thine, O Lord, Who 
lovest souls," Wisd. xi. 24. Here we see that God 
loves all that He has made, consequently all men with- 
out exception ; that He spares them, and has mercy upon 
them ; therefore He gives to all, without exception, such 
helps of His grace as are necessary for enabling them to 
repent, and do good, and save their souls, if they co- 


operate with them : otherwise His loving them, having 
mercy on them, and sparing them, would be nugator)', 
and to no purpose. 

Jesus Christ says, " Behold, I stand at the door and 
knock : if any man shall hear My voice, and open the 
door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he 
with Me. To him that shall overcome I will give to sit 
with Me on My throne," Rev. iii. 20. Christ then 
knocks at the hearts of all — there is no exception; and if 
any man opens, be he what he will, if he gives Christ 
entrance, and, co-operating with him, shall overcome, 
eternal glory shall be his reward. On this account it is 
said of Christ that He is " the true light, which enlight- 
eneth every man that cometh into this world," John, i. 
9 ; consequently, every man without exception is en- 
lightened by Christ; for, "to every one of us is given 
grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ," 
Eph. iv. 7. That is, He gives to some more, to some 
less, as He thinks proper, but to all sufficient for their 
wants, if they comply with what He gives. He is master 
of His own gifts, and may give more abundantly to 
whom He pleases, as He did to the Jews of old, of whom 
it is said, " He hath not done in like manner to every 
nation," Ps. cxlvii. 20 ; and He gives five talents to one, 
two to another, and only one to a third, but that one 
was sufficient for him who received it, and therefore he 
was justly condemned for not improving it. Besides 
these general proofs which show that God gives to all 
men the graces absolutely necessary for their salvation, 
there are also several plain testimonies of Scripture 
which prove the same in particular of each of the three 
classes into which mankind are divided — true believers 
who are in the state of grace, true believers who are in 
the state of sin, and unbelievers. 


Q. 14. How is this shown with regard to those who 
are in the state of grace ? 

A. That the just who are in the state of grace, and in 
friendship with God, are never deprived of such helps of 
the actual grace of God as enable them, if they them- 
selves be willing to co-operate with them, to keep all the 
commandments of God, and persevere in the state of 
grace, is an article of Divine faith which assures us (r.) 
That " God is able to make all grace abound in you, that 
ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound 
to every good work," 2 Cor. ix. 8 ; " For I can do all 
things in Him who strengtheneth me," Phil. iv. 13. (2.) 
That the stronger the temptation is, the greater grace is 
given to enable the just man to overcome it, for " to envy 
doth the spirit covet that dwelleth in you ; but He giveth 
greater grace," Jas. iv. 5. (3.) That God hath pledged 
His sacred promise to give them this grace ; for " (iod 
is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above 
that which you are able, but will make also with tempta- 
tion issue " (that is, a way to escape), "that you may be able 
to bear it," i Cor. x. 13; and the Church in the great 
council of Trent defines this : " If any one shall say that 
the commands of God are impossible to be observed by 
a just man who is in the state of grace, let him be ana- 
thema," Sess. vi., can. 18; and hence assures that " God 
does not forsake those that are justified by His grace, 
unless He be first forsaken by them," Sess. vi., ch.,11 ; 
for " God does not command impossibilities, but by 
commanding us " to do anything, " He admonishes us to 
what we can, to pray for what help we need, and then He 
helps us to make us able." — Ibid. 

^.15. Why does the council say, to pray for what help 
we need 1 

A. It is to show us that the grace enabling us to pray 


is never wanting, and this grace, if well used, will never 
fail to obtain all other necessary helps, according to our 
Saviour's ample promise, " Ask, and ye shall receive ; seek, 
and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;" 
and, consequently, that it is always in our own power 
to keep the commandments of God, and overcome all 
temptations of breaking them, seeing we always have 
either the actual assistance of God's grace enabling us 
to do so, or the grace of prayer, by the proper use of 
which that actual assistance will certainly be obtained. 

Q. 16. How does it appear that Almighty God gives 
the necessary assistance of His grace to true believers 
who are in the state of sin ? 

A. Two things God requires of people in this state : 
first, to repent of their past sins, and return to His 
friendship ; and, secondly, not to go on in a sinful 
course, but to keep His commandments. Now, as God 
expressly requires both these things from them, the 
proofs of the preceding case evince in this also, that He 
gives such sinners the necessary helps to enable them to 
do both ; to which the following proofs are added : " As 

1 live, saith the Lord God, I will not the death of the 
wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil way and 
live. Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways ; and why 
will you die, O house of Israel?" Ezek. xxxiii. 11. 
Now, if God so earnestly wills the life of the sinner, and 
so pressingly invites him to turn and live, He must 
necessarily give him grace to enable him to do so. The 
same reason holds from what St Peter says, " The Lord 
dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any 
should perish, but that all should return to ])enance," 

2 Pet. iii. 9 ; and our Saviour warmly invites all such to 
come to Him, and, consequently, gives them the neces- 
sary graces to enable them to follow His invitation. 


" Come to Me," says He, " all you that labour and are 
heavy loaden, and I will refresh you," Mat. xi. ; besides, 
all the above general proofs have particular place here. 

Q. 1 7. But what if the sinner be blinded and hardened 
in his sin ? 

A. Nothing is more deplorable than the state of 
a blinded and hardened sinner. A blinded sinner 
is one who has taken up some false and dangerous 
opinions, and is so positive and fixed in them, that he 
shuts his eyes to everything that can undeceive him. A 
hardened sinner is one whose passions and affections 
towards some bad object are so strong, that he contemns 
and resists all the admonitions which God sends him, 
whether by the interior motions of His grace, or the 
exterior call from His Holy Word, good books, exhorta- 
tions of pastors, or the hke. Now, this most unhappy 
state is in itself sinful, for it is a sin to have our mind 
or heart bound to any false or sinful object ; it is also a 
consequence and punishment of former sins ; and, what 
is no less deplorable, it is the cause and source of other 
sins. Yet, notwithstanding this is so great an evil, God 
Almighty, through the riches of His mercy, does not 
entirely abandon such sinners, but visits them from time 
to time with His holy calls, both by exterior trials and 
the internal motions of His Holy Spirit, with which, if 
they would concur, they might work out their conversion. 
This appears from what St Stephen said to the blind and 
obdurate Jews, " You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in 
heart and in ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost," 
Acts, vii. 51, which shows that the Holy Ghost did not 
entirely withdraw the offers of His grace from them, but 
that they obstinately resisted and rejected them. St Paul 
also, speaking to such sinners, says, " Knowest thou not 
that the benignity of God leadeth thee to repentance ? 


but according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, 
thou treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of 
wrath, and the revelation of the just judgment of God," 
Rom. ii. 4 ; where we see that the goodness of God does 
not give over entirely moving such sinners to repentance, 
but their hard heart, rejecting all His calls, justly in- 
creases the measure of their guilt and punishment. 

Q. 18. Why do you say that He does 7iot entirely 
abandon them ? 

A. Because though God, out of His infinite goodness, 
does not wholly forsake such sinners in this life, yet, in 
just punishment of their repeated abuses of mercy, He 
withdraws His more powerful graces from them, visits 
them seldomer, and even leaves them for a time entirely. 
On this account, their blindness towards spiritual things 
becomes greater, and the hardness of their heart more 
confirmed. And in this sense it is said in Scripture, 
that God sometimes hardens sinners, blinds them, leaves 
them to their own inventions, gives them up to their 
lusts, or to a reprobate sense, and the like ; which is 
certainly the greatest of all the punishments which He 
inflicts upon sinners in this life, but what such sinners 
justly deserve for their repeated abuses of mercy. 

Q. 19. How comes this to be so dreadful a punish- 

A. Because, as we can do no good of ourselves with- 
out the grace of God, so, left to ourselves, without the 
aid of this holy grace, there is no manner of crime into 
which we would not plunge headlong. Hear how the 
Scriptures show us what we are of ourselves, — " God saw 
that the wickedness of men was great upon the earth, and 
that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at 
all times," Gen. vi. 5 ; " And the Lord said, The imagin- 
ation and thought of men's heart are prone to evil from 


their youth," Gen. viii. 21. " The heart is perverse above 
all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?" Jer. xvii. 
9. " Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, 
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blas- 
phemies," Matth. XV. 19. See also the description which 
St Paul gives, Rom. i. and iii., of the abominations which 
the heathens fell into, " in times past, when," as he tells 
us, " God suffered all nations to walk in their own way," 
Acts, xiv. 15. Therefore, to be left to ourselves, and de- 
prived of the grace of God, is to be left in the hands of 
our greatest enemy, so as to be hurried on by him to 
certain damnation. 

Q. 20. How does it appear that God gives to unbe- 
lievers such helps of His actual grace as are sufficient to 
enable them to arrive at salvation ? 

A. Besides the general proofs brought above, which 
show that He does this to all men, without exception, 
there are also these two following : First, " God will have 
men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the 
truth," I Tim. ii. 3. He wills all to be saved, as the great 
end for which He created them ; and to come to the 
knowledge of the truth, as a necessary condition of sal- 
vation, because, " without faith it is impossible to please 
God," Heb. xi. 6. Now, infidels, or unbelievers of all 
kinds, have not this knowledge of the truth. Seeing, 
therefore, that God expressly wills they should obtain it 
and be saved,' consequently He gives them such graces 
as are sufficient, if they co-operate with them, to bring 
them to it. Secondly, Jesus Christ "gave Himself a re- 
demption for all," I Tim. ii. 6 ; and " He is the propi- 
tiation for our sins ; and not for ours only, but also for 
those of the whole world," i John, ii. 2 ; for '' He is the 
Saviour of all men, especially the faithful," i Tim. iv. 
103 consequently all must receive, in some manner or 


Other, the fruits of His redemption, with a view to their 
salvation by means of His grace ; therefore all Infidels, 
Jews, Turks, and Heathens receive from God, in such 
measure and manner as He sees proper, graces sufficient, 
if they co-operate with them, to bring them to the know- 
ledge of the truth, and to salvation. 

Q. 21. What is the tendency of all those actual graces 
which God bestows upon all mankind ? 

A. The ultimate tendency of them all is to procure 
the salvation of souls ; but their immediate tendency is 
different, according to the difiFerent people who receive 
them. In unbelievers the immediate end of these graces 
is to enable them to observe the law of nature, by avoid- 
ing evil and doing good ; which, if they comply with 
faithfully, greater and greater graces of the same kind 
would be given them, till at last the Divine wisdom 
would bring them, in such manner as he sees proper, to 
the knowledge of the truth and to the faith of Jesus 
Christ. In the faithful who are in the state of sin, these 
graces tend immediately to excite them to repentance, 
and bring them to the grace of justification. In those 
who are justified and in the state of grace, the actual 
graces they receive enable them to persevere in that 
happy state, by obeying the commands of God, and to 
secure their salvation. 

Q. 22. Whence comes it that these noble effects are 
so seldom produced in the greatest part of mankind ? 

A. Not from any deficiency in the graces we receive, 
which are all fully sufficient for producing these effects 
in our souls, but from the perverse will of man, which 
resists these motions of the grace of God, refuses to com- 
ply with them, and renders them of no effect. 

Q. 23. But cannot Almighty God give us such graces as 
would effectually overcome the perverseness of our will ? 


A. No doubt, Almighty God has an absolute power 
over the heart of man, and in the treasures of His infinite 
wisdom and mercy has such superabundant and suitable 
helps and graces to give him, as would infallibly procure 
his free and willing consent to whatever God requires 
from him. This power he exercised in a most miracul- 
ous manner in the conversion of St Paul, St Mary Mag- 
dalen, and others. Hence the Scripture affirms, " That 
God works in us both to will and to do, according to His 
good pleasure;" and God Himself says, " I will give you 
a new heart and a new spirit, . . . . and I will put My 
Spirit in the midst of you, and I will cause you to 
walk in My commandments," Ezek. xxxvi. 26; also the 
Wise Man says, " The heart of the king is in the hand 
of the Lord, whithersoever He will He shall turn it," 
Prov. xxi. I. Now this supreme dominion which God 
has over the heart and will of man, as our sovereign 
Lord, He exercises not by forcing our will or infringing 
our liberty, but by giving us such abundant and suitable 
graces as He infallibly knows will procure our ready con- 
sent, and effectually enable us to do what He pleases, 
and cheerfully to walk in His commandments. Thus 
David says, " I have lun in the way of Thy Command- 
ments when Thou didst dilate my heart," Ps. cxviii. 32. 
And the Holy Ghost pronounces that man "Blessed, 
that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed, 
and could do evil things, and hath not done them; there- 
fore are his goods established in the Lord," Ecclus. xxxi. 
10; where it is manifest, and expressly affirmed, that 
when, through the grace of God, we observe His com- 
mands, we have it in our power to transgress them, and 
when we abstain from evil we have it in our power to do 
it; and therefore, that the grace by which we do good 
and avoid evil, and by which God causes us to walk in 


His Commandments, and tiirjis our heart whithersoever 
He pleases, does by no means force us, or destroy our 
free-will, but strengthens, rectifies, and perfects it. On 
this account, those graces of God which man resists, and 
to which he refuses his consent, are called in the language 
of divines sufficient graces, because they are always suffi- 
cient to enable us to do what God requires we should do 
when He gives them, though by our resistance we do it 
not; but those graces to which we consent, and Avith 
which we co-operate, are called effiicacious graces, because 
the happy effects for which they are given are actually 
produced by our consent and co-operation with them. 

Q. 24. Is Almighty God obliged to give us these 
superabundant and efficacious graces ? 

A. Observe : man of himself has no right, claim, or 
title to any grace from God ; being by nature born in sin, 
and a child of wrath, he is the object of God's justice, 
but has nothing in himself which can give him the small- 
est claim to favour. So that God is under no obligation 
towards man to bestow any grace whatever. But as God 
has a sincere will for the salvation of all men, and as Jesus 
Christ died for the salvation of all, and, through the merits 
of His death, obtained for them such graces as are neces- 
sary for enabling them to procure their salvation ; therefore, 
God Almighty becomes obliged by His own goodness, 
by which He wills all to be saved, and to Jesus Christ, 
who has purchased for us the necessary helps to salva- 
tion, to bestow on all mankind such graces as are neces- 
sary and sufficient to enable them to work out their 
salvation, if they co-operate with them; and these He 
gives to all, without exception : so that, whoever is lost, 
is lost through his own fault, by not using, as he might, 
the graces he receives. Superabundant graces God is 
obliged to give to none; they are the effects of His pure 


mercy, and He bestows them on whom He pleases. He 
is sole master of His own gifts : and as it is impossible 
for men to comprehend His unsearchable judgments in 
the distribution of His graces, so none can find fault 
with what He does, or say to Him, " Why doest 
Thou so?" This we know for certain, and this is fully 
sufficient for us to know, that God gives to all what is 
necessary; that we have it in our power to be saved, if 
we ourselves will; that the grace of prayer is never want- 
ing, and that if we make a good use of the graces God 
bestows, and pray as we ought for more, we shall un- 
doubtedly obtain whatever we stand in need of; that, 
therefore, if we be lost it is wholly our own fault, and if 
we be saved we owe this to His infinite goodness only, 
through the merits of Jesus; according to what He says 
by His Prophet, " Destruction is thy own, Israel ; thy 
help is only in Me," Hosea, xiii. 9. 

Q. 25. On what occasions does God commonly bestow 
His grace upon men? 

A. Times and moments are in the hands of the 
Almighty, who bestows His gifts when and how He 
pleases, and is not bound by occasions; but of this we 
are sure, that the necessary helps of His grace are always 
ready when our wants require them. "We may also be 
assured that He will never refuse when we pray for them 
in a proper manner. Besides this, we know from experi- 
ence that our merciful God frequently sends us pious 
thoughts and holy inspirations without any other rule 
than His own good pleasure; and did we attend as we 
ought to watch over our interior, and keep our heart free 
from all inordinate attachments to creatures, unbiassed by 
depraved affections, and undisturbed by passions, we 
would receive these holy inspirations oftener, and be 
much more sensible of them. But God most commonly 


causes internal favours to accompany His external 

Q. 26. "\Miat do you mean by external graces? 

A. All those external helps to salvation which God has 
appointed ; such as the great mysteries of our redemp- 
tion, a Christian education, the good examples of others, 
miracles, the preaching of His Word, the exhortations 
of our spiritual directors, reading good books, and the 
like, which are intended as helps to our salvation ; and 
when we either read, see, hear, or meditate upon them, 
they are generally accompanied by corresponding interior 
graces, in order to render them profitable to our souls. 
Thus David was brought to a sense of his sin, and to 
repentance, on the reproof he received from Nathan, by 
the internal grace accompanying it. The Ninivites did 
penance at the preaching of Jonas ; the good thief was 
converted at seeing the wonderful patience of Jesus ; 
and so of others without number. 

Q. 27. Can these external helps be of any use without 
internal graces ? 

A. No, they cannot. " It is the Holy Ghost," says 
St Augustine, " that operates internally, in order to make 
the external help of service," Civ. Dei. 1. 15, c. 6. And 
we read of a sermon of St Paul's at which only one 
woman was converted, of whom it was said, " whose 
heart the Lord opened to attend to those things that 
were said by Paul," Acts, xvi. 14. 

Q. 28. What consequences flow from this? 

A. Two very important consequences, (i.) That as 
these external graces are the most ordinary occasions on 
which Almighty God speaks to the heart, we ought to be 
extremely assiduous in the daily use of them, meditating 
often on the great truths of religion, reading pious books, 
hearing the Word of God, and the like. (2.) That as 


none of these helps can profit ourselves nor benefit 
others, when used by us for them, unless God be pleased 
to bestow His internal grace, we ought, therefore, to be 
extremely careful to pray earnestly for God's blessing ; 
for " Paul may plant, and Apollo may water, but it is 
God alone that gives the increase," i Cor. iii. 6. 

Section II. 
Of Safidifying Grace. 

Q. 29. What is sanctifying grace? 

A. St Peter calls it a "participation of the Divine 
nature," 2 Pet. i. 4. And St Paul calls it in one place 
" the charity of God which is poured abroad in our 
hearts by the Holy Ghost," Rom. v. 5 ; and in another, 
" the justice of God by faith of Jesus Christ upon all 
them that believe in Him," Rom. iii. 22. The wise man 
calls it " a vapour of the power of God, and a certain 
pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty ; and that 
no undefiled thing can come near it," Wis. vii. 25. 
From all this it appears that the sanctifying grace of 
God is a communication which God makes of Himself 
to our souls ; and it is called grace, because it is a free 
gift of His mercy through the merits of Christ ; it is 
called Justice, because by it our sins are washed away, 
the disorders of our souls are rectified, and our souls 
rendered just and holy in His sight ; and it is called 
charity, because it enables us to love God above all 
things, and our neighbour as ourselves. 

Q. 30. Can this be explained by any examples ? 

A. The two following examples are used for this 
purpose. First, that of iron and fire : Iron of its own 


nature is black, cold, and hard ; but when heated in a 
strong fire it loses all its former appearance, and becomes 
bright and shining like the fire itself. It also becomes 
hot, soft, and ductile, so as easily to be formed into any 
shape the workman pleases. In like manner a soul in 
the state of sin is hateful in the sight of God, cold and 
tepid towards all that is good, and of itself hard and 
obdurate in its evil ways ; but when the great God com- 
municates Himself to such a soul, by His justifying grace 
all her defilements are washed away, and she becomes 
just and beautiful before Him. She is also warmed with 
His holy love and with true devotion, and becomes 
pliable to His blessed will in obedience to His com- 
mandments. And this explains what St Paul means 
when he says, " As many of you as have been baptised 
in Christ, have put on Christ," Gal. iii. 27 ; because by 
the grace of justification received in baptism the justice 
and sanctity of Christ are poured forth into our souls, 
which makes us resemble Him, as the iron heated by 
the fire resembles the fire itself The other example is 
that of the soul and the body of man : A dead body 
without the soul is a loathsome spectacle, incapable of 
any vital action, and tending of itself to nothing but 
corruption ; but when the soul is united to the body, it 
becomes alive, and has all the beauty of the human form, 
performs all the actions of life, and is preserved from 
corruption. In like manner a soul in the state of sin is 
dead, and loathsome in the eyes of God and His holy 
angels. She is incapable, by her own strength, of per- 
forming any action of the spiritual life conducive to her 
eternal salvation, and tends only to run deeper and 
deeper into the corruption of sin ; but when the grace of 
God is poured into such a soul, she becomes alive, and 
beautiful in his sight, can easily perform the duties of 
VOL. I. z 


the spiritual life, meritorious of eternal salvation, and 
is strongly fortified against all the corruption of sin. 
Hence this grace of God is called habitual grace, because 
it remains constantly in the soul, unless it be destroyed 
by mortal sin ; " because His Spirit dwelleth in you," 
Rom. viii. ii. It is also called sanctifying gi'ace, because 
it sanctifies the soul — that is, makes it holy and pure 
before God ; and it is called justifying grace, because it 
justifies — that is, cures the disorders of the soul, and 
renders us just and upright in the eyes of God. 

Q. 31. What is meant by justification ? 

A. It is when the soul passes from the state of sin to 
the state of grace. 

Q. 32. What is meant by being in a state of sin? 

A. To be in the state of sin is to be polluted by the 
guilt of mortal sin, deprived of the grace of God, and at 
enmity with God. 

Q.- ZZ- What is it to be in the state of grace? 

A. It is to be cleansed from the guilt of sin, adorned 
with the grace of God, and in friendship with God. 

Q. 34. What are the effects which sanctifying grace 
produces in the soul? 

A. They are many and most excellent : (i.) It washes 
away all the stains and guilt of sin from the soul, through 
the merit of the blood of Christ, which it applies to the 
soul, according to that, " the blood of Jesus Christ His 
Son cleanseth us from all sin," i John, i. 7. See above, 
Chap. xvii. Q. 41. 

(2.) It cures all the deadly infirmities of the soul, as 
the prophet declares in these words : " Bless the Lord, 
O my soul, and never forget all He has done for thee ; 
Who forgiveth all thy iniquities, Who healeth all thy 
diseases," Ps. cii. 2. And hence our Saviour calls Him- 
self the physician of souls when He says, " They that are 


in health need not a physician ; but they that are ill ; . . . 
for I am not come to call the just, but sinners," Mat. 
ix. 12. Not that grace takes away all the effects of sin 
from the soul ; for concupiscence, or that proclivity to 
sin which followed upon the loss of original justice, still 
remains ; neither does it destroy those evil habits which 
we have contracted by actual sin; but it strengthens 
the soul against both, and enables us to fight against and 
overcome them : for these effects of sin are not sins in 
themselves, except in as far as we consent to them; when 
we faithfully resist them they cannot hurt us, but are the 
field of our victory, and the increase of our crown. 

(3.) It beautifies the soul, and renders us agreeable 
and delightful in the eyes of our Creator, resembling 
Jesus Christ by the union we have with Him through 
grace, just as the fire, when it thoroughly penetrates a 
mass of iron, not only takes away all its natural black- 
ness, but makes it bright and glowing like the fire itself. 
Hence the Scripture says, " He hath chosen us in Him 
before the foundation of the world, that we should 
be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity," Eph. 
i. 4. And on this account "the Lord loveth the just," 
Ps. cxlv. 8. " For His soul pleased God," Wis. iv. 
14; and why? "How beautiful is the chaste generation 
with glory !" Wis. iv. i. 

(4.) It makes us temples of the Holy Ghost, Who 
dwells in a particular manner in the soul of the just. 
" Know you not," says the apostle, " that you are the 
temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in 
you ? ... for the temple of God is holy, which you are," 
I Cor. iii. 16. " Know you not that your members are 
the temple of the Holy Ghost, Who is in you, Whom you 
have from God I " i Cor. vi. 19. 

(5.) It makes us the adopted children of God : " for 


whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons 
of God ; . . . you have received the spirit of adoption of 
sons, whereby we cry (Abba) Father; for the Spirit Him- 
self giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons 
of God," Rom. viii. 14; because by the inward motions 
of Divine love, and the peace of conscience which the 
children of God experience, they have a kind of testi- 
mony of God's favour, which strengthens their hope of 
salvation, and their confidence in God as their loving 
Father. St John speaks of this dignity with amaze- 
ment : " Behold," says he, " what manner of charity the 
Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, 
and should be the sons of God ! " i John, iii. 1. 

(6.) It makes us heirs of the kingdom of heaven, 
giving us a right and title as sons to that eternal inherit- 
ance : for " if sons, heirs also ; heirs indeed of God, and 
joint heirs with Christ," Rom. viii. 17. "And because 
you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into 
your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore he is now 
no more a servant, but a son ; and if a son, an heir also, 
through God," Gal. iv. 6. 

(7.) It adorns the soul with the habits of all Christian 
virtues, according to the riches of His grace, " which 
hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence," 
Eph. i. 8 ; and particularly in these Divine virtues of 
faith, hope, and charity ; for thus the Word of God de- 
scribes the admirable virtues which accompany the spirit 
of wisdom, and which He communicates to the soul in 
which He dwells by sanctifying grace : " I called upon 
God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me. . . . Now 
all good things came to me together with her, and innumer- 
able riches through her hands. . . . For she is an infinite 
treasure to men, which they that use become friends of 
God ; ... for in her is the spirit of understanding ; . . . 


for she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain 
pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty God ; and 
therefore no defiled thing cometh near her. . . . She 
conveyeth herself into holy souls, and maketh friends of 
God and prophets ; for God loveth none but him that 
dwelleth with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than 
the sun, and above all the order of the stars ; being com- 
pared with light, she is found before it. . . . It is she 
that teacheth the knowledge of God. . . . And if a man 
love justice, her labours have great virtues ; for she 
teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and 
fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing 
more profitable in life. . . . Her conversation hath no 
bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and 
gladness ; and there is a great delight in her friendship, 
and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands," 
Wis. vii., viii., through the whole. Behold what an 
amiable description of the admirable benefits which the 
Divine wisdom communicates to the soul in which she 
dwells by sanctifying grace, and which she ne\-er fails 
eftectually to produce in those who faithfully co-operate 
with her holy inspirations, and study in all their doings 
to act by her light and direction. 

(8.) It gives a dignity, value, and merit to all our good 
works, which makes them most acceptable in the sight of 
God, and worthy of an ample reward from Him, both of 
an increase of grace in this life and of eternal glory in 
the life to come. For when a soul is united with Jesus 
Christ by His grace, the good works which that soul per- 
forms, in obedience to His holy will, and from a pure 
intention of pleasing Him, are now no longer the works 
of corrupt, sinful man, but the works of the friends of 
God, fruits produced from the branch united to the vine, 
which is Christ, receiving all their nourishment from the 


vine, and dignified by His merits communicated to them 
by grace. Thus He Himself says, " I am the vine, you 
the branches ; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the 
same beareth much fruit," John, xv. 5. And to show 
that these good works obtain an increase of grace, here 
He says, " Every branch in Me that beareth fruit, He," 
my Father, " will purge it, that it may bring forth more 
fruit," John, xv. 2 ; and that they procure both an in- 
crease of our sanctification here, and at last eternal life, 
St Paul assures us in these words, " But now being made 
free from sin, and become servants to God, you have 
your fruit unto sanctification, and the end everlasting 
life ; for the wages of sin is death ; but the grace of God 
everlasting life, in Christ Jesus our Lord," Rom. vi. 22. 
Hence the Holy Scripture everywhere proposes the king- 
dom of heaven as a reward and recompense given by a 
just God to the good works done in the state of grace. 
Thus God said to Abraham, when he was ready to sacri- 
fice his son, " By my own self have I sworn, because 
thou hast done this thing — I will bless thee," Gen. xxii. 
16. "I Myself will be your reward," said He upon 
another occasion, "exceeding great," Gen. xv. i. "Be 
glad," says Jesus Christ, "and rejoice, for your reward is 
great in heaven," Mat. v. 12. So He promises an open 
reward from our heavenly Father to " prayer, fasting, and 
alms," Mat. vi. And at the last day He will say to the 
good, " Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the 
kingdom prepared for you; for I was hungry, and ye 
gave Me meat," &c.. Mat. xxv. 34. " A cup of water 
given in His name shall not lose its reward," Mat. x. 42. 
" Our present tribulation worketh for us above measure 
exceedingly an eternal weight of glory," 2 Cor. iv. 17. 
Hence St Paul says, " I have fought a good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith; for the rest 


there is laid up for me a cro\\Ti of justice, Avhich the 
Lord, the just Judge, will render to me at that day," 2 
Tim. iv. 7. Now all this is the effect of the sanctifying 
grace of God, Who crowns His own gifts in us ; and 

(9.) It brings us at last to eternal happiness, if we per- 
severe in the state of grace to the end ; for " being now 
justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath 
through Him," Rom. v. 9. And " they who receive 
abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall 
reign in life through one, Jesus Christ," lb. ver. 17. For 
" according to His mercy He saved us by the laver of 
regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost, Whom 
He poured forth upon us abundantly through Jesus 
Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we 
may be heirs according to hope of everlasting life," Tit. 

iii- 5- 

From this we see what an immense treasure of spirit- 
ual riches the grace of God brings to the soul, and con- 
sequently what a great value we ought to put upon it, 
how diligent we should be to preserve and increase it, 
and how careful not to lose it. In a word, the grace of 
God is the great instrument of our salvation ; because by 
it we are delivered from our past sins, and preserved from 
sin for the time to come. With great reason, then, the 
wise man sets so great a value upon the Divine wisdom, 
by whom this sanctifying grace is poured upon our souls, 
when he said, " I preferred her before kingdoms and 
thrones, and esteemed riches as nothing, in comparison 
of her; neither did I compare unto her any precious 
stone; for all gold, in comparison of her, is as a little 
sand; and silver, in respect to her, shall be accounted as 
clay. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose 
to have her instead of light, for her light cannot be put 


out," "Wis. vii. 8. Such is the esteem every Christian 
ought to have of the grace of God, as to be ready to part 
with everythirig this world can afford rather than lose 
this heavenly treasure and be separated from the charity 
of God, which is in Christ Jesus, by consenting to mortal 
sin. Such was the high esteem that St Paul and all 
the saints of God had of it, who could all say with that 
holy apostle, "Who shall separate us from the love of 
Christ? shall tribulation? shall distress? or famine? or 
nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword? . . . 
for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things 
to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature, shall 
be able to separate us from the love of God which is in 
Christ Jesus," Rom. viii, 35. And why so? because he 
esteemed the happiness of being united to Jesus Christ 
by justifying grace before everything else, and utterly de- 
spised everything in this world in comparison of that 
heavenly treasure : "■ I count all things to be but loss," 
says he, " for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ 
my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, 
and count them but as- dung, that I may gain Christ and 
be found in Him, not having my justice, which is of the 
law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which 
is of God, justice in faith," Phil. iii. 8. 

Q. 35. Can the sanctifying grace of God be augmented 
in our souls ? 

A. Yes it can ; and the more it is increased in a soul, 
the more pure, the more holy, the more beautiful the 
soul is, the more inflamed also, and the more fervent her 
love to God becomes, which is explained by the example 
of iron and fire above mentioned. Thus the Scripture 
says, "The path of the just, as a shining light, goeth for- 
wards, and increaseth even to perfect day," Prov, iv. 18. 


Hence the frequent exhortations to " be strong in the 
grace which is in Christ Jesus," 2 Tim. ii. i, and "to grow 
in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ," 2 Pet. iii. 18. Hence the angel in the 
Revelations cried out, " He that is just, let him be justi- 
fied still; and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still," 
Rev. xxii. 1 1. Which shows how careful we ought to be, 
not only to preserve, but also to increase this precious 
treasure in our souls by fervent prayer and frequent 
good works, which obtain from God an increase of grace, 
and by worthily frequenting the holy sacraments, the 
sacred channels by which He communicates it to our 

Q. 36. Can justifying grace be diminished and lost 
from the soul ? 

A. No doubt the fervour of our charity may be weak- 
ened, the brightness of the soul may be obscured, and 
her beauty diminished ; and this is the fatal effect of 
venial sin and tepidity in the service of God, which, 
though it does not of itself destroy charity, yet, diminish- 
ing its fervour, it disposes and leads on the soul by little 
and little to mortal sin, by which the grace of justification 
is entirely banished from the soul. Thus we see that a 
piece of iron, though heated to the highest point by the 
force of fire, and glowing and shining with brightness, 
when taken out of the fire and exposed to the air, gradu- 
ally loses its splendour, becomes less and less clear and 
glowing, and at last loses the appearance of fire entirely, 
and returns to the dull colour which it had before. 

Q. 37. How does it appear that a person once justi- 
fied, and in the grace of God, can lose that justification ? 

A. This is evident from numberless texts of Scripture. 
Thus God said to Moses, " He that hath sinned against 
Me, him will I strike out of My book," Exod. xxxii. 2,?>- 


He must have been in His books before he sinned, and 
therefore justified, yet he loses his grace by his sin. "If 
any one abide not in jMe," says our blessed Saviour, " he 
shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they 
shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burn- 
eth," John, xv. 6. " When the just shall depart from His 
justice, and commit iniquities. He shall die in them," 
Ezek. xxxiii. 18. Hence the frequent exhortations in 
Scripture to " Ser\"e the Lord in fear," Ps. ii. 11. " Let 
him that thinketh himself to stand, take heed lest he fall," 
I Cor. X. 12. " With fear and trembling work out your 
salvation," Phil. ii. 12. " Take heed, lest being laid 
aside by the en-or of the unwise, you fall from from your 
own steadfastness," 2 Pet. iii. 17. And St Paul, though 
a chosen vessel, " yet chastised his body and brought it 
into subjection, lest perhaps he should become a cast- 
away," I Cor. ix. 27. 

Q. 38. By what means can we recover the grace of 
justification when we have lost it by sin ? 

A. The grace of justification is a free gift of the mercy 
of God through the merits of Christ ; and therefore no 
good works whatsoever which a sinner performs before 
justification can ever merit or deserve that grace from 
God. Before justification we are in the state of sin, sepa- 
rated from Jesus Christ ; branches cut off from the vine, 
decayed members of His body, and therefore incapable 
of bearing fruit, as He Himself assures us : for " as the 
branch cannot bear fruit of itself," says He, "unless it 
abide in the vine ; so neither can you, unless you abide 
in Me," John, xv. 4. Hence the Scripture assures us 
that we are justified freely by His grace, through the 
redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Rom. iii. 24, to show 
that justification is by no means due to any preceding 
good works of ours : for " if by grace, it is now by 


works, otherwise grace is no more grace," Rom. xi. 6. 
But though no good works done in the state of sin 
can of themselves merit or deserve the grace of justi- 
fication, yet Almighty God expressly requires certain 
good works to be done by the sinner, as necessary dis- 
positions for receiving that grace, and without which it 
will never be granted. These dispositions, however, are 
His own gifts, produced in the soul of the sinner by the 
help of actual grace, which God freely bestows upon him 
for the sake of Christ, and with which the sinner co- 
operating, disposes his soul for the grace of justification ; 
and vdien these dispositions are in the soul, the grace of 
justification is never refused — not as due to the sinner, but 
as due to Jesus Christ and to God's o^\^l fidelity, ^^'ho 
has promised that when the sinner is so disposed, He 
will receive him into His favour, and pardon his sins. So 
that the justification of a sinner is wholly the gift of God, 
both because the dispositions necessar)^ to prepare the 
sinner for receiving it are His gifts, and justification itself 
is given to these dispositions, not as in justice due to 
them, but as the gift of God"s mercy, through the merits 
of Jesus, and for His sake. 

Q. 39. What are the dispositions required for the justi- 
fication of a sinner? 

A. The Holy Scripture clearly points out to us these 
following virtues, as necessary for this end: (i.) Faith 
in Jesus Christ ; for " without faith it is impossible to 
please God,"' Heb. xi. 6 ; and therefore " the justice 
of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all 
that believe in Him,"' Rom. iii. 22. (2.) The fear of 
God; for •' the fear of the Lord driveth out sin ; for he 
that is without fear cannot be justified," Ecclus. i. 27. 
(3.) Hope and coufidaice in the mercy of God ; for "he 
that trusteth in the Lord shall be healed," Prov. xxviii. 


25; and therefore "we are saved by hope," Rom. viii. 
24. (4.) A sincere love of God ; for " he that loveth not, 
knoweth not God ; for God is charity," i John, iv. 8 ; 
and " he that loveth not, abideth in death," i John, 
iii. 14. Hence "many sins are forgiven her, because she 
hath loved much," Luke, vii. 47. (5.) A sijicere repen- 
tance for our sins ; for " except you repent, you shall all 
likewise perish," Luke, xiii. 3. And therefore "repent 
and be converted that your sins may be blotted out," 
Acts, iii. 19. These are the dispositions pre-required by 
Almighty God as necessary for preparing the soul, and 
making her capable of receiving the grace of justification; 
and when we are thus prepared, we must (8.) have 
recourse to the sacrament of baptism if we have not as yet 
been baptised, or to the sacrament of pena7ice if we have 
lost the grace received already in baptism. Not indeed, 
properly speaking, as if these sacraments were another 
disposition to prepare us for our justification, but as the 
sacred instruments ordained by Jesus Christ, by which 
the grace of justification is poured into the soul when 
disposed by the above-mentioned virtues. 

Q. 40. Will not faith alone sei-ve to dispose a soul for 
justification ? 

A. By no means; for we see, from the texts mentioned 
above, that all these other conditions are required to 
drive away sin, to heal us, and to deliver xasfrom death as 
well as faith ; besides, St Paul expressly says, although 
" I should have all faith, so that I could remove moun- 
tains, and have not charity, I am nothing," i Cor. 
xiii. 2. And St James decides this point in express 
terms, saying, after a long reasoning, to prove what he 
says, " Do you see that by works a man is justified, and 
not by faith only? " James, ii. 24. And St Paul further 
declares that " in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision 


availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith that 
worketh by charity," Gal. v. 6. 

Q. 41. What kind of works do these apostles speak 

A. Not any works done by the mere light of nature, 
nor even the works of the law of Moses ; for all these 
were incapable of bringing us to the grace of justification; 
for " the law brought nothing to perfection," Heb. vii. 19. 
And " the gifts and sacrifices of the law cannot, as to the 
conscience, make him perfect that serveth," Heb. ix. 9 ; 
" for it is impossible, that with the blood of oxen and 
goats, sins should be taken away," Heb. x. 4. There- 
fore the works spoken of by these apostles are faith in 
Jesus Christ, which is the root and foundation of all 
Christian works, and those other virtues of fear, hope, 
love, and repentance, which naturally flow from that 
faith, as the branches of a tree from the root; and there- 
fore St Paul, after showing the inability of the law and 
all its sacrifices to purify our consciences, concludes, 
" Let us draw near with a true heart, in fulness of faith ; 
.... let us hold fast the confession of our hope with- 
out wavering ; ... let us consider one another to pro- 
voke unto charity and good works," Heb. x. 22. And 
writing to the Romans on this subject, he gives this 
reason : " For we account a man to be justified by faith, 
without the works of the law" (Rom. iii. 28) — namely, 
by that faith which, as he told us above, " worketh by 
charity," Gal. v. 6 ; but not by the works of the law of 

Q. 42. In what manner do these other virtues above 
mentioned flow from faith as from their root ? 

A. As the beginning of all good must come from God 
to our souls, for " no man can come to me," says Jesus 
Christ, "except the Father, who sent Me, draw him," 


John, \-i. 44 ; so when God of His infinite goodness 
touches the sinner's heart, and moves him to return to 
Him by repentance, the first step which the sinner takes 
in this great work is to beheve with a firm faith all those 
sacred truths which Christ has revealed and His holy 
Church teaches. This faith, informing him of the severity 
of God's justice against sin, fills his heart with that 
wholesome " fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of 
wisdom," Prov. i. 7 ; and the same faith teaching him the 
infinite goodness and mercy of God, and His readiness to 
forgive repenting sinners, raises him up to a great confi- 
dence in God, through the merits of Jesus Christ. Then 
learning, from the same faith, how infinitely good God is 
in Himself, and how infinitely good to him in the num- 
berless favours He has conferred on him, especially in the 
great work of our redemption, conceives in his heart a 
sincere love and affection towards so amiable a benefac- 
tor. Then reflecting on his manifold sins, the enonnity 
of which his faith also discovers to him, he is filled with 
a hearty sorrow for having so ungratefully offended so 
good a God ; he hates and detests his sins, which are 
displeasing and offensive to God, and firmly puqjoses to 
amend his life, and keep the law of God ; and thus he 
turns to the Lord his God by a sincere repentance, and 
applies to the holy sacraments as the happy and effectual 
means of being restored to His friendship and favour. 

Q. 43. But why did St Peter say only to the Jews, 
" Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted 
out," Acts, iii. 19, without saying a word of these other 
virtues ? 

A. Because repentance is the last in order, and, when 
sincere, includes all the others in it. For it is impossible 
to repent as we ought without believing in God, fearing 
Him, hoping for pardon, and loving God; all which, 


though not ahvays positively expressed, are virtually in- 
cluded in true repentance. 

Q. 44. How can children be justified by baptism, 
since they are incapable of these dispositions ? 

A. If children in their infancy are incapable of hav- 
ing these dispositions, they are also incapable of com- 
mitting any actual sin which may stand in need of re- 
pentance ; they never turned away from God by any posi- 
tive act of their own will, and therefore He does not 
require from them any positive act of their will to return 
to Him again — out of His infinite mercy He admits them 
to the grace of justification by the sacrament of bap- 
tism, without any further disposition on their part ; and 
in the same way He is pleased to deal with those who, 
though grown up, have never had tlie use of reason. 
But in all others who are capable of committing sin 
themselves, and of having the above dispositions. He ab- 
solutely requires they should have these dispositions, with- 
out which the grace of justification will not be given 
them, neither in the sacrament of baptism for sins com- 
mitted before baptism, nor in the sacrament of penance 
for those committed after baptism. 

Q. 45. Will not a perfect repentance serve to justify a 
sinner alone without any sacrament? 

A. A perfect repentance, founded on a perfect love of 
God, is very seldom to be met with in sinners, much less 
can a sinner be certain that he possesses so great a happi- 
ness ; yet, if so great a grace should be granted by God to 
any sinner, there is no doubt but that God will at the 
same time grant him the grace of justification; for our 
Saviour says, " If any man love Me, he will keep My 
word, and My Father will love him, and ^^'e will come 
to him, and will make Our abode with him," John, xiv. 
23 ; but as the proof which Christ here requires of the 


sincerity of his love is to obey His commands, /le will 
keep My words ; and as the express command of Christ 
is that we receive His sacraments, for the sanctification 
of our souls, therefore such a one will not be justified, 
even by his perfect repentance ; nor, indeed, will his 
repentance be perfect unless it includes an efficacious 
will and resolution of applying to the sacraments, from 
which nothing can exempt him but the impossibility of 
receiving them. And the reason is, because the sacra- 
ments are expressly ordained by Jesus Christ as the 
only ordinary means by which the grace of justification 
is communicated to our souls. 




Q. I. WJ HAT is a Sacrament ? 

V V A. A. sacrament is an outward sensible 
action, or sacred sign, ordained by Jesus Christ as a sure 
and certain means to bring grace to our souls. 

Q. 2. How many things are required to make a true 
sacrament ? 

A. Three things : first, that there be some outward 
sensible action performed; secondly, that this be a certain 
means to bring grace to the soul ; and thirdly, that Jesus 
Christ be the author of it. 

Q. 3. What does this outward action consist in ? 

A. In something said and something done ; the thing 
done is called the matter of the sacrament, and the 
words spoken the form of it. 

Q. 4. To whom does it belong to perform the outward 
sensible action ? 

A. The outward action which is properly meant by 
the word sacrament is the work of men, and it belongs 
to those to perform it who are authorised and com- 
missioned by Jesus Christ to do so. 

Q. 5. To whom does it belong to bestow the inward 
grace ? 

A. The pouring down grace to the soul, which, pro- 
VOL. I. 2 A 


perly speaking, is the effect of the sacrament, is the 
work of God, as none but God Himself can communicate 
His grace to the soul. 

Q. 6. At what time does God bestow His grace upon 
the soul ? 

.A. The very same instant that the outward action of 
any sacrament is completely performed. 

Q. 7. Does God ever fail on His part to bestow the 
grace when the outward action is duly performed ? 

A. On His part He never fails in this; the connection 
between the outward sign performed and the inward 
grace received, is, on the part of God, infallible, being 
founded upon His fidelity and immutability. For having 
been pleased to ordain these outward forms to be the 
instruments, channels, or means by which His grace 
should be brought to our souls, and having instituted 
them as an essential part of the Christian religion for 
this purpose, by so doing He has evidently engaged 
Himself always to produce the effect whenever the sacra- 
ment is performed according to His appointment; there- 
fore, as He is unchangeable and faithful to His engage- 
ments, He never will fail on His part to do so. 

Q. 8. Is grace always bestowed when the sacrament 
is duly performed ? 

A. Alas ! it too often happens that the grace of the 
sacrament is not bestowed, owing to the indisposition of 
the person who receives it. For though Almighty God 
is always ready upon His part to bestow the grace, yet 
if the receiver be indisposed, and His soul incapable of 
receiving it, the grace will not be given to him, though 
the outward form be duly administered — not from any 
failure on the part of God, but from the indisposition of 
the receiver. 

Q. 9. Can you explain this by any example ? 


A. The familiar process of writing upon paper does so 
exactly. In writing, when a skilful hand applies the pen 
and ink, the intended characters never fail to be pro- 
duced if in the paper there be no impediment. But 
should it be saturated with oil, not a single letter will be 
formed. Here the failure arises not from the instru- 
ments — the ink, the pen, or the hand that guides it — but 
from the state of the paper upon which the characters 
are attempted to be traced. This is a homely but apt 
illustration of the manner in which the sacraments are 
prevented from producing their effect on a soul indis- 
posed and incapable of receiving grace. 

Q. 10. Is it necessary to be well disposed when one 
approaches to a sacrament ? 

A. Most certainly ; for if a person presume to receive 
any sacrament when ill disposed, he not only deprives 
his soul of the grace of that sacrament, but also commits 
a grievous sin of sacrilege by profaning those sacred in- 
struments of our salvation. On the other hand, the more 
perfectly he is disposed by frequent and fervent acts of 
faith, hope, and charity, and other holy virtues, the more 
abundant grace he will receive, both because these more 
perfect dispositions move Almighty God to be more 
liberal of His graces to him, and they also enlarge the 
capacity of the soul to receive a more abundant com- 
munication of grace. 

Q. II. Can this be explained by any example? 

A. As the sacraments are ordained by Jesus Christ to 
be the never-failing means of communicating His grace 
to our souls, they therefore contain in themselves an in- 
exhaustible treasure of heavenly grace, from which the 
soul of every one that approaches them worthily receives 
as much as it is capable of containing. Now the 
capacity of the soul depends upon its dispositions — the 


more perfect they are, the more the capacity of the soul 
is enlarged, and therefore the greater portion of grace 
it receives from these heavenly fountains. So that the 
sacraments may be compared to a fountain, and the soul 
to a vessel which one carries to it. The fountain, 
abounding with water, iills every vessel that is applied 
to it, so far as it can contain ; the larger the vessel is, the 
greater quantity of water it will carry away. 

Q. 12. Has this comparison any foundation in Scrip- 
ture ? 

A. It is entirely taken from the Scripture, for there 
the grace of God is compared to water, and the sacra- 
ments to the fountain of Jesus Christ, from which that 
heavenly water flows : thus, " I will pour clean water 
upon you," says Almighty God, " and you shall be 
cleansed from all your tilthiness," Ezek. xxxvi. 25 ; and 
our Saviour, speaking to the woman of Samaria, says, 
" He that shall drink of the water that I shall give him, 
shall not thirst for ever ; but the water that I shall give 
him, shall become in him a fountain of water springing 
up unto everlasting life," John, iv. 13. Isaiah, foreseeing 
the inexhaustible sources of this heavenly water which 
were to be ordained by Christ in His holy sacraments, 
cries out with rapture, " You shall draw water with joy 
out of the Saviour's fountains ! " Is. xii. 3. And the 
prophet Zacharias, on the same subject, says : " In those 
days there shall be a fountain open to the house of 
David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for the 
washing of the sinner and the unclean woman," Zach. 
xiii. I. 

Q. 13. Why do you say that a sacrament is a sacred 
sign ? 

A. Because the outward action which is used in the 
sacrament is not only the instrument or means by which 


the grace of God is actually communicated to our souls, 
but it also represents to us the nature of that grace 
which we receive, as the principal thing of which it is 
the sign ; it also reminds us of the passion and death of 
Jesus Christ, through the merits of which His grace is 
bestowed upon us, and the eternal salvation of our souls, 
which is the great end for which He bestows it. Thus 
St Paul says of baptism, " We who are baptised in Christ 
Jesus, are baptised in His death." See here how baptism 
is a sign of the death of Christ ; and to put us more 
effectually in mind of this, the Church makes frequent 
use of the sign of the cross in administering the sacra- 
ments, especially in the most essential part of their 
administration, which teaches us that the whole virtue of 
the sacraments flows from the death of Christ upon the 
cross. The apostle goes on : " For we are buried to- 
gether with Him by baptism unto death ; that as Christ 
is risen from the dead by the glorj- of the Father, so we 
also may walk in newness of life," which shows that the 
sacrament of baptism is a sign of the grace we receive in 
it, by which we die to sin, and rise to a newness of life, 
after the example of the resurrection of Jesus. The 
apostle adds, " But if we have been planted together in 
the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness 
of His resurrection,'' Rom. vi. 3, to put us in mind that 
this holy sacrament is also a sign of our rising again at 
the last day by a glorious resurrection, as the end for 
obtaining which it was instituted. In like manner, of the 
holy communion it is said, " As often as you shall eat 
this bread and drink this chalice, you shall show the 
death of the Lord until He come," i Cor. xi. 26. See 
how it is a memorial of the death of Christ. Also, " He 
that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in 
Me and I in him," John, vi. 57 ; and '" He that eateth 


Me, the same shall live by Me," ver. 58. See how the 
action of receiving under the form of bread and wine is 
a sign of the inward grace. Lastly, "He that eateth 
My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath life everlasting, 
and I will raise him up in the last day," ver. 55. See 
how it is a pledge of eternal happiness. 

Q. 14. Why did God ordain these external signs as 
the means of communicating His grace to our souls ? 

A. For several very important reasons: (i.) Li con- 
descension to our weakjiess. For had man been a being 
purely spiritual, without any body. Almighty God would 
doubtless have bestowed His gifts upon him in a manner 
suitable to such a being, and therefore in a manner 
purely spiritual. But with us the case is very different. We 
are composed of a body and a soul ; and in our present 
state of weakness and corruption, the latter is in such 
subjection to the former that things purely spiritual 
seldom make a proper impression upon us ; nay, by far the 
greater part of mankind are so enslaved to their senses, 
that they seem incapable of comprehending anything but 
what falls under the notice of these organs ; so that even 
the great truths of religion, which they are bound to 
know, must be suited to their capacity, and made easy 
and familiar to them by similitudes taken from sensible 
objects. On this account Almighty God, out of conde- 
scension to our weakness, has been pleased to ordain 
the sensible signs, which we call sacraments, as the in- 
struments of bestowing His grace upon us, that we might 
the more easily understand the wonderful things He 
works in our souls by them. 

(2.) To confirm onr faith in His promises, and be a com- 
fort to our souls. The grace of God, by which we are 
restored to His friendship and cleansed from our sins, 
and at the same time strengthened to persevere in His 


service, is doubtless the most important benefit we can 
receive from Him in this hfe; and when we are so un- 
happy as to have lost His friendship by sin, nothing can 
be a greater comfort to us than a well-grounded confi- 
dence that we are reconciled to Him again. Now, as 
He has instituted the sacraments with this express pro- 
mise, that when they are received by a person properly 
disposed He will never fail on His part to communicate 
His grace to the soul, this renders the sacraments a great 
source of consolation • for though we have not an abso- 
lute certainty of receiving the grace, because we can 
never have a certainty of our dispositions being what they 
ought, yet, as we are absolutely certain of the effects of 
the sacraments on the part of God, and can have a very 
high probability of our own dispositions, this is fully suffi- 
cient for a well-grounded hope and confidence in God, 
through the merits of our blessed Redeemer. This de- 
gree of certainty — the highest which God allows us in 
this life — serves, on the one hand, to keep us humble, 
and to make us " work out our salvation with fear and 
trembling; " and on the other, gives us a sufiicient ground 
of hope for mercy, and fills us with consolation. 

(3.) To unite all the members of His Church in one 
body ; for no society of men can be united unless they be 
joined by some sensible tie or bond which keeps them 
together. Now in the Church of Christ the sacraments 
are bonds which unite all her members, distinguish them 
from others who do not belong to her, and serve, at the 
same time, as an open profession of their faith in Jesus 
Christ, by whom they were ordained : " We are all bap- 
tised," says St Paul, " into one body," i Cor. xii. 13 ; and 
" we being many, are one body, who partake of that one 
bread," i Cor. x. 17. 

(4.) To humble our pride, and teach us our own misery 


and unworthiness, when we see that all the dispositions 
we can have, and all the means we can use, are unworthy 
of the great and inestimable benefit of the grace of justi- 
fication, and that we are forced after all to submit our- 
selves to the use of sensible elements for obtaining this 
favour, and thereby constrained to acknowledge that it 
is the effect of the pure mercy and goodness of God 
alone, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and not given 
as due to any merit in us. 

<2- 15. Why do you say that the sacraments are sacred 
signs, ordained by Jesus CJwistl 

A. Because the sacraments do not, of their own nature, 
signify the grace they contain, neither do they do so from 
the institution of men, much less can any outward action 
of itself confer the grace of God on our souls. This is 
wholly owing to the good will and pleasure of Almighty 
God ; for He alone can bestow His grace upon us, and 
He alone can ordain by what means He pleases to do 
so ; and seeing He has ordained these determined actions 
which we call sacraments, and no other, as the means 
of bestowing His grace on man, by these alone, and no 
other, can we obtain it. Hence it follows that no power 
upon earth can change what was ordained by Jesus 
Christ in the outward forms of the sacraments without 
destroying them entirely ; for if any change be made in 
what He ordained to be done, it is no more the same 
form to which His grace was annexed, and consequently 
ceases to be a sacrament at all. 

Q. 16. Who are those whom Jesus Christ has author- 
ised and commissioned to administer His sacraments ? 

A. The administration of the sacraments is one of the 
sacred powers of the priesthood, which Jesus Christ gave 
to His apostles, and their successors the bishops and 
priests of the Church, who are therefore called the 


" INIinisters of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries 
of God,'"' I Cor. iv. i, because they are authorised by 
Christ, as His substitutes, to perform in His name the 
outward actions, or sacred signs, in which the sacraments 
consist. So that in the administration of any sacrament 
two persons always concur, the minister of the sacrament, 
who, as the organ of Christ, performs the outward part 
in a visible manner ; and Christ Himself, who, as the 
principal but invisible agent, imparts the inward grace to 
the soul of the worthy receiver at the very moment that 
the outward action is performed by His minister. 

Q. 17. What things are required in the minister of the 
sacraments to administer it validly ? 

A. These three things: (i.) That he be. authorised by 
Jesus Christ to perform it. Thus the bishops or first 
pastors of the Church, to Avhom the plenitude of the 
priestly powers belong, are authorised by Christ to admin- 
ister all the sacraments. The priests, who are called 
the pastors of the second order, are authorised by their 
office to administer all the sacraments except confirma- 
tion and holy orders. The deacons receive power by 
their ordination to administer baptism with all its solem. 
nities, by commission from the two former ; and the in- 
ferior orders and all lay persons, both men and women, 
are authorised, in case of necessity, to administer baptism 
privately. (2.) That he have the intention at least of 
doing what the Church does. (3.) That he perform the 
sacred sign exactly. 

Q. 18. Is it not necessary that the person who ad- 
ministers any sacrament be in the state of grace? 

A. A person who knows himself to be in the state of 
sin, and in disgrace with God, and who in . that state 
should presume to administer any sacrament, would be 
guilty of a very great sin by so doing ; but this would 


make no difference as to the fruit of the sacrament in the 
worthy receiver ; for the effects of the sacraments are not 
annexed to the sanctity of the person who administers I 
them, but to the exact performance of the external rite 
by a person properly authorised. In this we see the in- 
finite goodness of God, Who, for our greater comfort, 
would not let the efficacy of His sacraments depend on 
the sanctity of the minister ; because this being a circum- 
stance of which we can have no certain knowledge, nor 
even probable assurance, had it been required, we should 
have been deprived of all solid ground of hope, and been 
left in a state of perpetual doubt and fear whether we 
had received the grace of the sacrament or not. 

Q. 19. What kind of grace do the sacraments commu- 
nicate to the worthy receiver ? 

A. Two kinds, justifying grace and sacramental grace. 

Q. 20. How do they confer justifying grace? 

A. If the receiver be in the state of sin, by the sacra- 
ments of baptism and penance he receives the first grace 
of justification, by which he is cleansed from the guilt of 
his sins, and restored to the friendship of God. These 
two sacraments are instituted for this very end ; baptism 
to cleanse us from original sin, and also from all actual 
sins which an adult person may have committed before 
baptism ; and penance, to cleanse us from all the sins we 
have committed after baptism ; and on this account bap- 
tism and penance are called the sacraments of the dead, 
because they raise the soul from the death of sin to the 
life of grace. On the other hand, if the person be already 
in the state of grace, and receive any of the other sacra- 
ments, he receives by them an increase of justifying grace, 
by which his soul is rendered more pure and holy, and 
more beautiful in the sight of God ; and therefore these 
other sacraments are called the sacraments of the living, 


because they cannot be received worthily unless the soul 
of the receiver be alive to God by being in the state of 
grace. The sacrament of penance, also, is sometimes of 
this number — namely, when the penitent is already in the 
state of grace, and has only venial sins upon his con- 
science ; for then, with the pardon of these venial sins 
by the sacrament of penance, he receives an increase of 
justifying grace also. 

Q. 21. What is meant by sacramental grace? 

A. Sacramental grace is that particular actual grace 
which is peculiar to each sacrament, and which strength- 
ens the worthy receiver and enables him to perform the 
duties and accomplish the ends for which each particular 
sacrament was intended. Thus in baptism we receive 
strengthening grace to enable us to lead a Christian life ; 
in confirmation, to profess our faith in the midst of all 
dangers, and resist all the enemies of our souls in the 
holy communion, to preserve and augment the life of the 
soul, and the love of God; in penance, to preserve us 
from falling back into sin; in extreme unction, to over- 
come our spiritual enemies in the hour of death; and in 
holy orders and matrimony, to discharge properly all the 
duties of these two states of life. 

Q. 22. Have the sacraments any other effect besides 
bringing these graces to the soul ? 

A. Three of them — baptism, confirmation, and holy 
orders — produce also another effect, which is to imprint a 
character or seal in the soul by the operation of the Holy 
Ghost; of which the Scripture says, in Christ "also be- 
lieve you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," 
Eph. i. 13. And again, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of 
God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption," 
Eph. iv. 30. And of confirmation in particular it is 
said, " Now He that confirmeth us with you in Christ 


and He that hath anointed us in God, who hath also 
sealed us," 2 Cor. i. 21. 

Q. 23. What is understood by a character ? 

A. It is a spiritual mark or sign imprinted in the soul, 
similar to the impression of a seal upon soft wax, which 
denotes that the person who receives it is thereby conse- 
crated and dedicated to the service of God, according to 
the intention for which the sacramant was instituted. 
Thus the character of baptism denotes that the person 
who has it is consecrated to God as a Christian, is a mem- 
ber of the Church of Christ, and entitled to all the other 
sacraments of the Church, as helps to enable him to 
serve God in that quality. The character of confirmation 
denotes that the person who has it was dedicated to the 
service of God as His soldier, and engaged for ever to 
serve Him in that quality, which the grace of that sacra- 
ment enables him to do. The character of priesthood 
denotes that the person who has it is consecrated to 
God, to serve at His altar, and that he has received all 
the sacred powers annexed to that high office. 

Q. 24. Does this character remain for ever in the 

A. Yes ; and on that account the three sacraments 
which give it can never be received more than once by 
the same person ; for if a person be once a baptised or a 
confirmed Christian, or a priest, he remains so for ever : 
and in the next life these sacred characters will be a 
great increase of glory to those who go to heaven, and 
of misery to those who go to hell. 

Q. 25. How many sacraments are there in the Church 
of Christ ? 

A. There are seven — baptism, confinnation, holy 
eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy orders, and 


Q. 26. How can it be proved that there are seven 
sacraments? Is there any text of Scripture that says 

A. There is not one text of Scripture which exphcitly 
declares the nature of the sacraments, or determines their 
precise number. And in this we see the inconsistency of 
those who pretend to follow no rule but Scripture, and to 
believe nothing but what is to be found in plain Scrip- 
ture ; while yet they admit two sacraments, and reject 
the others, though they cannot bring one text of Scripture 
to authorise their doing so. But that there are seven 
true and real sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ, and 
left by Him in His Church for the benefit of His follow- 
ers, is proved by two unanswerable arguments. First, 
Because we find in Scripture that there are seven out- 
ward actions laid down there, as certain means appointed 
by God to bring grace to our souls, as will be shown 
when explaining each sacrament in particular. And, 
Seco?id/y, Because the Church of Christ in all ages, from 
the very beginning, has believed and acknowledged the 
seven sacraments above mentioned, and has administered 
them as means of grace to her children. 

Q. 2"]. Are all obliged to receive the sacraments ac- 
cording to the need we may have of them ? 

A. Some of the sacraments are only intended for 
particular purposes and states of life, and those only 
are obliged to receive them wlio embrace those states, 
such as holy orders and matrimony ; but the others are 
intended for the benefit of all Christians, and therefore 
all are obliged to receive them, otherwise the grace to 
remedy their wants will not be granted. For as they are 
ordained by Jesus Christ as the means by which He be- 
stows His grace upon our souls, and as the ultimate 
condition for this purpose, presupposing all the other 


conditions required as dispositions on our side, and as 
He is free master of His own gifts, and may require what 
condition He pleases from His creatures, in order to 
receive them, it is not enough that we perform some of 
these conditions — we must perform them all ; and the 
sacraments being the last required, and which serve as 
the very instruments for bestowing upon us the grace 
intended by them, it is plain that the other conditions 
without this will not be sufficient, and therefore that it 
is absolutely necessary to receive the sacraments where 
they can be had, in order to receive the grace annexed to 

Q. 28. Why are so many ceremonies used in the ad- 
ministration of the sacraments ? 

A. To understand this it will be necessary to explain 
the nature of ceremonies more particularly. 

Appendix to the Sacraments in General. 
Of Sacred Ceremonies. 

Q. 29. What is properly meant by a rite or ceremony ? 

A. A rite or ceremony, taken in its most general 
sense, is an outward action or sign, used by men either 
for promoting a becoming decorum in the necessary 
intercourse of society, or for recalling to our mind the 
remembrance of some truth which does not fall under 
the notice of our senses, or for exciting certain affections 
in the mind of those who are present, or for testifying to 
others the affections of our souls. Thus in all courts of 
justice there are certain outward forms or ceremonies 
appointed to be observed as necessary for carrying on 
the business done there with regularity and order. The 


ensigns of royalty in the king, robes and badges of 
office used by magistrates, are so many ceremonies 
which remind us of the dignity of their station, the 
authority with which they are invested, and excite the 
sentiments of respect due to their character. In common 
Hfe itself the outward actions of bowing or uncovering 
the head are ceremonies by which we testify our mutual 
regard and esteem ; and the very rules of good breeding 
in company are but so many rites or ceremonies by 
wliich we express our respect for one another, excite 
and improve our mutual benevolence, and carry on the 
intercourse of life Avith becoming decorum and propriety. 

Q. 30. Is the use of ceremonies necessary in human 

A. According to the present providence under which 
we live, and the frame and disposition of human nature, 
the use of external rites or ceremonies is so absolutely 
necessary that it is impossible to discharge the ordinary 
duties of society, whether civil or religious, without them. 

Q. 31. What is meant by a sacred rite or ceremony? 

A. A sacred ceremony is an outward action or sign, 
ordained by the Church of Christ, to be used in the ex- 
ternal exercise of religion, and chiefly for three reasons: 

(i.) For greater decorum the necessary uniformity in 
performing the exterior duties of religion. It is impos- 
sible to perform the outward acts of religion, such as 
administering the sacrifice, offering up sacrifice, or the 
like, without using some external action in doing so — 
that is, without using ceremonies. Now, in the choice of 
these, two things ought chiefly to be had in view : Jirst, 
that the most proper and orderly be used ; and, secondly, 
that all the members of the Church use the same. The 
majesty of God and the sanctity of religion require the 
first, in order to excite in the minds of men proper 


sentiments of reverence and devotion ; and experience 
itself shows how much the sacred ceremonies of reU- 
gion conduce to this end. The uniformity in rehgion, 
so necessary for preserving union among Christians, 
demands the second, which has also this good effect, 
that no one is ever at a loss to join with those of his 
own religion in all its duties, in whatever part of the 
world he may find himself And this shows how neces- 
sary it is that these ceremonies should be enjoined by 
the public authority of the Church ; because, if it were 
left to every one to use such ceremonies in religion as he 
pleases, neither of these two ends could be procured ; all 
would be disorder and confusion. 

(2.) That by these outward ceremonies we may give 
to Almighty God the external worship of our bodies, ex- 
pressing by their means the internal dispositions of our 
souls. Thus by using the sign of the cross we profess 
our faith in a crucified Saviour, and that all our hopes 
are founded on the merits of His death upon the cross ; 
by kneeling or bowing our bodies, which are postures of 
humility and supplication, we show our interior depend- 
ence on Almighty God, and the respect and reverence 
we give Him, like the humble publican in the Gospel ; 
and so of others. Now this external worship is an honour 
offered to God, as it manifests to others our piety towards 
Him, and by our example excites them to the same; 
when it proceeds from the heart, is highly agreeable to 
Him, and what He requires from us; besides, experience 
teaches that the internal respect and reverence of our 
souls are not a little influenced by the reverential pos- 
ture of our bodies. 

(3.) That by these outward ceremonies the great 
truths and instructions of religion may be represented in 
a sensible and striking manner to the eyes of the people. 


There are numbers of people, especially of the lower 
class, of dull and heavy understandings, who never learn 
to read, having received no proper education, and who, 
consequently, are incapable of improving their minds by 
the necessary knowledge of religion, through their OAvn 
study. This is the case with great multitudes in all 
nations at present, but was much more so before the 
invention of printing, when perhaps not one in many 
thousands knew to read. For all these it is most neces- 
sary to use proper ceremonies, by which the truths of 
religion may be set before them, that by seeing these 
daily performed, the truths represented by them may be 
more deeply imprinted in their minds, and become 
familiar to them. Thus the sacred ceremonies used in 
the administration of the sacraments represent either the 
dispositions with which we ought to receive tliem, the 
effects which they produce in our souls, or the obliga- 
tions we contract by receiving them, as we shall see 
more particularly under each sacrament. 

Q. 32. By whom are religious ceremonies instituted ? 

A. They were first instituted by God Himself from 
the very earliest ages of the world ; for we find Cain and 
Abel, the sons of Adam, employed in offering up sacri- 
fices and gifts to God; Noah did the same after the 
Flood, as also the patriarchs after him. Now they must 
have been induced to this (as an act of external worship 
due to God, and which necessarily required some exter- 
nal action, indicating the dispositions of their souls) 
either by the express command of God Himself, or by 
the light of reason; for we find that their doing so 
was pleasing to God, and received His approbation. 
Besides, God Almighty, in express terms, instituted the 
sacred ceremony of circumcision with Abraham, as a 
sign of the covenant made with him, and commanded it 

VOL. I. 2 B 


to be used by all his posterity, under pain of death, as a 
distinctive mark of his true religion. Of Jacob, we read 
that, after his mysterious dream, "arising in the morning 
he took the stone which he had laid under his head, and 
set it up for a title, pouring oil upon the top of it, . . . 
and he made a vow," Gen. xxviii. i8. And God highly 
approved of this religious ceremony used by him, saying, 
" I am the God of Bethel, where thou didst anoint the 
stone, and made a vow to me," Gen. xxxi. 13. And 
when afterwards He was pleased to reveal to Moses the 
whole form of religion with which He required to be 
worshipped by His people, what a number of august and 
mysterious ceremonies did He not appoint to be used in 
all the parts of it, both as memorials of the favours con- 
ferred on that people, and as types and figures of the 
more perfect religion to be afterwards revealed by Jesus 
Christ ! and these ceremonies He commanded to be ob- 
served with the strictest attention, so as to threaten the 
severest punishment upon those who should profane them. 
In the second place, sacred ceremonies were instituted 
by Jesus Christ, and the use of them is highly approved 
and authorised by His example. In curing the man who 
had been born blind, " He spat on the ground, and made 
clay of the spittle, and spread the clay upon his eyes ; 
and said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloe ; . • . and 
he Avent, and washed, and he came seeing," John, ix. 6. 
Again, in curing the deaf and dumb man, " Taking him 
aside from the multitude, He put His fingers into his 
ears, and spitting. He touched his tongue ; and looking 
up to heaven. He groaned and said, Ephpheta, that is, 
Be thou opened ; and immediately his ears were opened, 
and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke 
right," Mark, vii. -^Ty. What a number of ceremonies 
were used by Jesus Christ upon these two occasions ! and 


for what end? They surely were by no means necessary 
for curing these two men. A word from Him was fully 
sufficient for that purpose; but as His actions are re- 
corded for our example, we have in these two cases His 
sacred authority in approbation of holy ceremonies. 
Add to His example His express command and insti- 
tutions ; for at the Last Supper, when He instituted the 
holy sacrament, "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and 
broke, and gave to His disciples," Mat. xxvi. 26. And 
after He had done so, with all these ceremonies He gave 
them express orders to do what He had done, which is 
literally observed throughout the whole Church to this 
day. Also, on the day of His resurrection " He breathed 
on His apostles," and said, "receive ye the Holy Ghost," 
to show, by that ceremony of breathing upon them, the 
communication of His Divine Spirit which He thereby 
gave them, John, xx. 22. Thus Jesus Christ instituted sa- 
cred ceremonies by His command, and authorised them 
by His example ; and the Church, on that account, has 
retained and uses several of those very rites, here related 
as done by Him, upon different occasions, as we shall 
afterwards see. 

In the third place, sacred ceremonies were instituted 
by the apostles and their successors ; for though our 
blessed Saviour Himself ordained some, and authorised 
the use of them in general by His example, yet He left 
the determination ofparticular ceremonies to His apostles 
and their successors in office, the pastors of the Church, 
whom He appointed, with full authority, to ordain what- 
ever might be proper, according to circumstances, " for 
the edification of the body of Christ," Eph. iv. And we 
find that many of the ceremonies used at !Mass, and in 
administering the sacraments, were instituted by the 
apostles themselves, as they were used universally through- 


out the whole Church from the very earUest ages, and 
are attested by the earUest Christian writers to have been 
received from them. Of this kind are the sign of the 
cross, holy water, and the greater part of the ceremonies 
of baptism. The Church also, at different times, has in- 
stituted such sacred ceremonies as she judged proper, 
and circumstances required, according to the power left 
with her by Jesus Christ for that end. 

Q. 33. But are not the religious ceremonies used 
in the Catholic Church contrary to the simplicity and 
humility of the Gospel ? 

A. This is, indeed, a popular outcry against the 
Church, under an appearance of piety ; but on examina- 
tion it will be discovered to be without reason and 
devoid of truth : for (i.) Whatever conduces to preserve 
order and decorum in the worship of God cannot be 
contrary to the humility and simplicity of religion ; for 
right reason teaches us that order and decorum ought to 
be observed in all things, but especially in what regards 
the service of the Almighty ; and St Paul expressly com- 
mands that "all things be done decently and according to 
order," i Cor. xiv. 40. And after having laid down some 
general rules down, he concludes, " The rest I will set in 
order when I come," i Cor. xi. 34. Now all the public 
ceremonies of the Church are ordained for this end, 
and to preserve uniformity in the externals of religion. 
(2.) Whatever has a connection with virtue, conduces to 
our improvement in any virtue, and is used for no other 
view but to render us more virtuous and better disposed 
towards the service of God, cannot possibly be against 
the humility and simplicity of religion ; for this can never 
forbid any external action which is performed with an 
humble and sincere heart in order to honour God. 
Now all the ceremonies of religion are intended to 


excite in our minds a high idea of the magnificence and 
grandeur of Ahnighty God, and a just sense of our own 
misery and wretchedness ; and they are intended to 
give public homage to God as our sovereign Lord, and 
to acknowledge our dependence upon Him. (3.) The 
humility and simplicity of the Gospel consist in a deep 
sense of the infinite majesty of God, and of our own 
unworthiness, and in a total submission to Him, seeking 
His honour and glory, and the accomplishment of His 
holy will in all things. Now experience itself teaches 
that nothing contributes more effectually to excite in our 
souls a reverential awe and fear of the Divine Majesty, 
with a sense of our own nothingness in His presence, 
than those solemn and august ceremonies which the 
Church uses upon public occasions. (4.) Sacred cere- 
monies, so far from being contrary to the humility and 
simplicity of the Gospel, are grounded on the very 
constitution of our nature, which must be instructed in 
spiritual things by such helps as fall under our senses ; 
for the same reason that Almighty God, by means of 
outward things in the holy sacraments, confers His grace, 
which is spiritual and invisible, on our souls. By not 
paying due attention to this, many, on pretence of refin- 
ing religion, and rendering it more spiritual, have begun 
by retrenching ceremonies which they called superfluous, 
and from this have proceeded to cut off some of the very 
essentials of religion : witness the sacrament of baptism, 
which many nowadays are not ashamed to teach, is no- 
wise necessary to salvation — nay, that it is superstition to 
believe it to be so. 

Q. 34. Do not many of these ceremonies savour too 
much of worldly pomp, which nourishes pride instead of 
humility— such as the ornaments of churches, the magni- 
ficence of priestly vestments, and the like ? 


A. It is surprising to see how ingenious people are 
to deceive themselves when they wish to be deceived. 
This also is a common reproach of the enemies of the 
Catholic Church, but shows with how little considera- 
tion they speak when they speak against her. Let us 
suppose the greatest splendour and magnificence to be 
used in the cases mentioned, in whose heart can they be 
imagined to nourish pride or vanity? not in the people who 
see them, more than the ornaments of a royal palace, or 
the robes which the king uses, could nourish pride in the 
minds of any of his subjects who were seeing them. On 
the contrary, experience in both cases teaches that they 
produce the very opposite effect, and inspire the be- 
holders with sentiments of respect and reverence — not 
in the priests who use them, for these sacred vestments, 
however rich and magnificent they may be, serve only to 
place before their eyes the passion of Jesus Christ, which 
they represent, and the sacred virtues of humility, purity, 
mortification, and love of Jesus Christ, with which His 
priests ought to be adorned. These are humbling lessons 
for every priest, which the sacred vestments he uses con- 
tinually preach to him — very opposite, indeed, to worldly 
pride and vanity. And what shows, beyond reply, how 
far the magnificence and splendour of churches and 
sacred ornaments are from inspiring sentiments of pride, 
is, that we learn, from the history of all ages, that those 
holy saints who were most remarkable for their profound 
humility and solid virtue were, at the same time, the 
most zealous for the splendour and magnificence of every- 
thing relating to the service of God. On the other hand, 
those who cry out most against those things are generally 
persons devoid of all sense of piety and reverence for 
God, full of themselves and their own opinions, and 
whose hearts are ulcerated with a malignant envy at see- 


ing that employed for the honour of the Almighty which 
they would rather see used for themselves. Finally, Can 
anything be conceived more splendid and magnificent 
than what God Himself commanded to be done both in 
the sacred vestments used by His priests in the old law, 
and the profusion of riches in everything regarding His 
temple? and shall we accuse Him on this account of 
encouraging worldly pride and vanity in His people? 
This example of God Himself gives the most ample 
sanction to all the magnificence that can be used in His 
holy service. 

<2- 35- Ought we, then, to pay a great respect to sacred 
ceremonies ? 

A. Most undoubtedly ; they deserve that great respect 
and veneration should be paid them, on account of the 
ends for which they are used, the sacred truths and holy in- 
structions which they represent, and also the authority by 
which they are instituted ; and therefore the Church, in 
the General Council of Trent, condemns and pronounces 
an anathema on all those who shall presume to say that 
it is lawful to despise or ridicule, or by private authority 
to alter or change, any of the received and approved 
ceremonies of the Church. — Sess. vii. can. 13. God Him- 
self approves the respect we pay them, both by the com- 
mendations given in Scripture to those who used them, 
as the humble Publican and St Mary Magdalen, and also 
by the miraculous victory given to the people of God over 
the Amalekites, which in a manner wholly depended upon 
the sacred ceremony used by Moses of lifting up his hands 
in prayer during the engagement ; for " when Moses 
lifted up his hands, Israel overcame, but if he let them 
down a little, Amalek overcame," Exod. xvii. 1 1. But as 
Moses' hands were heavy, " Aaron and Hur stayed up 
his hands on both sides," till a complete victory was 


gained. And, indeed, those who speak against the sacred 
ceremonies which the Church uses manifestly discover 
either the pride of their own heart, in presuming to be 
better judges of these matters than the Church of Christ, 
which He has authorised to appoint them, or their con- 
tempt for her sacred authority, or at least a gross igno- 
rance of the subject of which they speak, and of the 
sacred and important truths which these holy cerem.onies 
represent and convey to the mind. 

Q. 36. Why does the Church make use of the Latin 
language in administering the sacraments, and in her other 
public offices of religion ? 

A. When the Christian religion was first published to 
the world, Latin was the common language of all the 
western parts of Europe, throughout the Roman empire, 
and all the public offices of the Church were performed 
in that language. In process of time, when many bar- 
barous nations broke in upon and dismembered that 
empire, they soon altered the Latin language, and, by 
mixing it with their own, produced the various languages 
now commonly in use in the different European nations. 
Amidst these changes of languages, the Church wisely 
judged it necessary to preserve the use of the Latin in all 
her public offices, chiefly for two reasons : First, to pre- 
serve greater uniformity in the externals of religion among 
all her members, from which this great good also arises, 
that all her members, wherever they go, at whatever dis- 
tance from their own country, always find themselves, as 
it were, at home in all the exercises of religion, as they 
everywhere find both the selfsame things done, and the 
same language used, to which they have been accustomed 
from their infancy. Secondly, all living languages are 
subject to daily changes, both in the way of speaking and 
in the meaning of words ; this must have occasioned 


frequent translations of the public Church offices had 
they followed the changes in the common language of 
every country ; and this could not have been done with- 
out introducing much obscurity and many equivocal ex- 
pressions, which, of course, would have given occasion 
to introduce new, and consequently false, opinions in the 
sacred truths of revelation itself: whereas the Latin, 
being a dead language, fixed in its signification, and in- 
capable of change, the constant use of it in all religious 
offices contributes, in no small degree, to preserve the 
purity of religion itself, and shuts the door against all dan- 
gerous novelties. 

Q. 37. But is not this a loss to the people who do not 
understand Latin ? 

A. By no means ; for in theyfr^/ place, the part which 
the priest has to perform, both in the administration of 
the sacraments, and in celebrating the holy sacrifice of the 
Mass, is not to pray with the people, but to pray to God 
for them in their name, as their deputy and representa- 
tive, and the greater part of what he says, and everything 
he does, is suited to the public character he bears \ so 
that, though he were to use the vulgar language, the people 
could not join in saying the same prayers, much less 
could they do what he does. But in the second place, as 
they are instructed from their childhood in the nature of 
what he does, and accustomed to it by daily practice, 
they have prayers in their manuals and books of devo- 
tion, which are adapted to them, and by which they 
accompany him through every part of his functions 
in manner proper for their state. Neither are they 
ignorant of the nature of the prayers he offers up for 
them, as they have been explained in their books of 
instruction, and therefore can find no difficulty in 
uniting their prayers and intentions for the same end. 


Q. 38. Is this practice authorised by the Scripture? 

A. It is ; for during the Babylonish captivity the 
people lost the knowledge of the old Hebrew language, 
in which the Scriptures were written, insomuch that, 
upon their return to Jerusalem after the captivity, when 
Nehemias and Esdras the priest read the law to the 
people, they were obliged " to interpret to them the 
words of the law," Nehem. viii. 13; and from, that period 
the vulgar language they spoke was the Syriac, into 
which the Scriptures were not translated from the Hebrew 
till after our Saviour's time, and yet all their public 
offices were taken from the law, psalms, and prophets in 
the old Hebrew. Besides, we find this command given 
by God Himself: "Let no man be in the tabernacle when 
the high priest goeth into the sanctuary to pray for him- 
self and his house, and for the whole congregation of 
Israel, until he come out," Lev. xvi. 17. In conse- 
quence of this, it is recorded of Zacharias, St John 
Baptist's father, that when, " according to the custom of 
the priestly office, it was his lot to ofter incense, going 
into the temple of the Lord, all the multitude of the 
people was praying without, at the hour of incense," 
Luke, i. 9 ; where we see, by God's express command, 
public prayers made by the priest expressly for the 
people, and the sacrifice of incense offered for them, and 
yet not one of them permitted so much as to be present, 
much less to hear and understand what the priest was 
saying to God for them ; yet they assisted without at 
this function, joined in prayer, and doubtless were no 
less partakers of its benefits than if they had both heard 
and seen the whole. Finally, Any apparent incon- 
venience that might seem to arise from having the public 
offices of the Church in the Latin language, because 
not understood by the unlearned, is certainly a mere 


nothing if compared to the greater advantages of using 
that language, as we have seen above, and to the un- 
avoidable detriment that would follow were these public 
offices subject to all the variety of vulgar languages, and 
to the changes which they are continually undergoing. 

Q. 39. Why is the sign of the cross so frequently made 
use of in the administration of the sacraments ? 

A. The sign of the cross is a sacred ceremony which 
is used by Catholics more frequently, both in the admin- 
istration of the sacraments, and in offering up the holy 
sacrifice, and upon many other occasions, than any other 
ceremony whatsoever, and there are several strong and 
important reasons for doing so, which are as follows : — 

(i.) This sacred sign of the cross is a means of re- 
minding us of the two great and most important truths of 
our holy religion, the Unity and Trinity of God, and the 
incarnation and death of Jesus Christ, which two mys- 
teries are the sum of all Christian knowledge ; for there 
are two things in this life which it is chiefly important to 
know — our last end, for which we ^\ ere created, to which 
all our desires ought to tend, and in which our true and 
perfect happiness is only to be found ; and the way or 
means by which we can arrive at it. Now God alone 
is our last end, in Him alone we can find our perfect 
and essential happiness ; and Jesus Christ is the only 
way by which we can attain to the possession of this 
happiness, for " He is the way, the truth, and the life ; 
the way by His example, the tmth by His doctrine, and 
the life of our souls by His grace ; and " no man," says 
He, " Cometh to the Father but by Me," John, xiv. 6. 
So that it is only by imitating His example, believing 
and obeying His doctrine, and assisted by His grace, 
that we can be saved ; and therefore, to know God and 
Jesus Christ as we ought, is to know all that is necessary 


to make us eternally happy ; this Jesus Christ Himself 
declares, saying to His Father, " This is life eternal, that 
they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ Whom Thou hast sent," John, xvii. 3. Now the 
sign of the cross is a memorial of this wholesome know- 
ledge, and serves to keep us in mind of it, as being the 
most important thing we have to think upon, or take an 
interest in, in the whole world ; for the words we pro- 
nounce when making this sacred sign contain an invoca- 
tion of the blessed Trinity, one God and three Persons, 
and the very sign itself recalls to our mind the incarna- 
tion and death of Jesus Christ, God made man. 

(2.) The sign of the cross is an external profession of 
our faith, a distinguishing mark of the members of the 
Church of Christ; it is the livery of Jesus Christ, by which 
His followers are known and distinguished from Turks, 
Jews, heretics, and unbelievers. In making this sign 
we openly profess that we believe in one God and three 
Persons ; that God the Son was made man, and died on 
the cross for us, and that we are Catholics, and members 
of the Church of Christ — that is, of that sacred body of 
which Christ is the head. 

(3.) It is also, on many occasions, an external protes- 
tation of our hope and confidence in God, through the 
merits of Christ, " by Whom we have access in one 
Spirit to the Father," Eph. ii. 18; for when we begin 
our prayers by making the sign of the cross, we by this 
profess that our only hope of being heard is through the 
merits of the cross of Jesus ; when we offer up anything 
to God Almighty, and dedicate it to His service, we sign 
it with the sign of the cross, to signify that we have no 
hope of its being acceptable to Him but only through 
the merits of the death of Jesus; when we bless ourselves 
or other creatures, we make the sign of the cross, to de- 


clare that we expect no blessing from God but tlirough 
the passion and cross of Jesus ; when we administer any 
sacrament, we make use of the same sacred sign, to show 
that all the benefit we expect from the sacrament flows 
only from the same Divine source, the merits of Jesus. 

(4.) It is also a memorial of the infinite love of God 
toward us, who out of pure love for us gave His only 
begotten Son to die on the cross for our salvation ; and 
as nothing contributes more effectually to inflame our 
hearts with love towards our friends than the memory of 
their love to us, hence this sacred sign is an incentive to 
our love of God and of Jesus Christ; because it is a 
memorial of His love to us, and of all the great benefits 
He obtained for us by its means ; of His victory over 
Satan, sin, and hell, His blotting out the handwriting 
that was against us, His reconciling us with God, and 
opening to us the kingdom of heaven. 

(5.) It is a great defence against all the assaults of the 
devil. St Paul tells us that Jesus Christ, by His death 
on the cross, " spoiled principalities and powers, and 
made a show of them confidently, triumphing openly over 
them in Himself," Col. ii. 15. It was by the cross that 
the devil was crucified invisibly by Jesus Christ, his hands 
bound, his power taken from him, and his kingdom de- 
stroyed ; for this reason he abhors the cross of Christ, 
and the very sign of it is hateful to him ; and on this 
account all the holy Fathers, those ancient and vener- 
able champions of the Christian religion, have left in their 
writings the warmest commendations of this holy sign, as 
a most powerful defence and protection against our in- 
fernal enemies ; and many examples are recorded in the 
history of the Church, in all ages, of its wonderful efiicacy 
in this respect, and of numberless miracles being wrought 
by the holy servants of God by its means. 


(6.) It is the sacred mark ordered by God Himself to 
be put upon all those that belong to Him, as a means to 
defend them against the destroying angels in the day of 
His wrath, which is thus declared in Scripture : " The 
Lord called to the man that was clothed with linen, and 
had a writer's inkhorn at his loins, and said to him, Go 
through the midst of the city, through the midst of 
Jerusalem, and mark Thau upon the foreheads of the 
men that sigh and mourn for all the abominations that 
are committed in the midst thereof. And to the others, 
(the six angels that had each one his weapon of destruc- 
tion in his hand, ver. 2) He said in my hearing, Go ye 
after him through the city, and strike ; let not your eye 
spare, nor be ye moved with pity; utterly destroy old 
and young maidens, children, and women; but on whom- 
soever ye shall see Thau, kill him not," Ezek. ix. 4. 
Thau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and in 
the old Hebrew characters was the form of a cross, as 
our T is to this day, as is attested by St Jerom and other 
interpreters. The same vision was repeated to St John 
in the Revelations, who says : " I saw another angel de- 
scending from the rising sun, having the seal of the living 
God : and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels 
to whom it was given to hurt the earth, and the sea, saying. 
Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we seal 
the servants of our God in their foreheads," Rev. vii. 2. 
All which was prefigured by the blood of the paschal 
lamb, which God ordered His people in Egypt to " put 
upon the side-posts and upper door-post of their houses " 
(Exod. xii. 7) as their defence Avhen He sent His angel 
to destroy all the first-born of Egypt : " For when I shall 
see the blood," says He, " I shall pass over you, and the 
plague shall not be upon you to destroy you," ver. 13. 
The paschal lamb was a type of Jesus Christ upon the 


cross, and the sign of His cross upon our foreheads 
is a sign of His precious blood shed upon the cross for 
us, which, hke the blood of the paschal lamb, preserves 
us from the destroying angel. 

Q. 40. In what manner must we use this holy sign in 
order to be partakers of these benefits ? 

A. St Paul, speaking of the ceremony of circumcision, 
says : " Circumcision profiteth, indeed, if thou keep the 
law ; but if thou be a transgressor of the law, thy circum- 
cision is made uncircumcision. . . . The circumcision is 
that of the heart in the spirit, not in the letter," Rom. ii. 
25, 29. As circumcision was the mark of the people of 
God under the law, so the sign of the cross is the mark 
of the followers of Christ under the Gospel ; consequently, 
" The sign of the cross profiteth, indeed, if we obey the 
Gospel, if it be planted in the heart and spirit as well 
as in the body;" but without this it will only be an 
empty sign, or rather will turn out to our greater con- 
demnation. The sign of the cross is the sign of humility, 
of patience, of meekness, of charity, the darling virtues 
of Jesus Christ, which in the most admirable manner 
He practised upon the cross. What will it profit, then, 
to make the sign of the cross upon the body, if these 
virtues, which it represents, are not seated in the heart 
and spirit ? 

Q. 41. Is the use of the sign of the cross very ancient 
in the Church ? 

A. It is as ancient as Christianity itself; and the prac- 
tice of the primitive Christians in using it is thus described 
by Tertullian, a learned Christian writer of the second 
century : " At ever)- step, at our coming in and going out, 
when we put on our clothes or shoes, when we wash, 
when we sit down to table, when we light a candle, when 
we go to bed — whatever conversation employs us, we im- 


print on our foreheads the sign of the cross." — De Coron. 
Milit, c. 3. 

For all the above reasons, then, this sacred sign is fre- 
quently made use of by the members of the Catholic 
Church, both in their private devotions and in the public 
exercises of religion, and in a particular manner in the 
administration of all the sacraments, that it may serve to 
keep us perpetually in mind that all the graces and bene- 
fits we receive from them flow only from the merits of 
the passion and death of Jesus Christ upon the cross, as 
will appear in explaining the ceremonies of each sacra- 
ment in particular. 




Q. 1. "\T THAT is the design or end for which the 
V V sacrament of baptism was instituted ? 

A. The design of this sacrament is to make us Chris- 
tians, to dehver us from the slavery of Satan under which 
we are born, to unite us to Jesus Christ, as members of 
His body, and to give us a right and title to receive all the 
other sacraments and helps of religion in this life, and 
eternal happiness in the life to come. 

Q. 2. How is all this done? 

A. By the new birth which we receive in baptism, by 
which we become the children of God, being spiritually 
born again by the grace which is here bestowed upon us. 
In our natural birth from our earthly parents, we are born 
carnal-minded, sullied with sin, subject to eternal death, 
and aliens from God. In this new birth, which is the 
work of the Holy Ghost by the sacrament of baptism, 
our souls are formed anew, we become spiritual partakers 
of the Divine nature, heavenly-minded, and fit for the 
kingdom of God, as His children and heirs of His 
kingdom. Thus Jesus Christ explains this when He 
says, " That which is born of the tlcsh is flesh, and that 
which is born of the Spirit is spirit," John, iii. 6. 

Q. 3. Is baptism a true sacrament ? 

VOL. I. 2 c 


A. It is; because it has all the things requisite in a 

Q. 4. What is the outward sensible sign used in bap- 

A. Pouring water upon the person to be baptized, and 
saying, at the same time, these words, " I baptize thee in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 

Q. 5. How is this action performed ? 

A. By pouring water on the person to be baptized, or 
dipping him into it ; and it is the order and custom in 
the Catholic Church to pour or dip three times at the 
names of the three Divine Persons, though the three 
times are not necessary for the validity of baptism. 

Q. 6. What think you of those who administer baptism 
so slightly that it is doubtful whether it can in any sense 
be called an ablutioji or washing: for instance, those who 
administer it with a fillip of a wet finger ? 

A. Such as these run a great risk of not baptizing at all. 

Q. 7. What is the inward grace which baptism brings 
to the soul ? 

A. The sanctifying grace of God, by which the soul is 
regenerated, cleansed from all the stains of original sin, 
and of actual sin if there be any, and is made a child of 
God, a member of His Church, and an heir of heaven. 

Q. 8. Where do we find that Jesus Christ is the insti- 
tutor of this sacrament ? 

A. From the commission which He gave to the pas- 
tors of the Church, in the persons of the apostles, when 
He said, " Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them 
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost," Mat. xxviii. 19. 

Q. 9. How is this outward action a sign of the inward 
grace received ? 


A. The word baptize is a Greek word, which signifies 
fo wash 7vith water; when, therefore, water is poured upon 
the body outwardly, and these words pronounced, " I 
baptize thee " — that is, I wash thee with water — " in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost," this represents the inward washing of the soul, 
by the sanctifying gi-ace of God which is poured down 
upon it. 

Q. 10. "What kind of water must be used in baptism? 

A. Natural elementary water only, such as is produced 
by nature, and not by the art of man; and it is imma- 
terial whether it be taken from the sea, a spring, a river, 
or a well, or be rain-water, or the like. And in this we 
see the infinite goodness of God, Who was pleased to 
ordain, for the matter of this sacrament, a thing so com- 
mon in every place, that none might be in danger of 
being deprived of it. 

Q. II. When are the words to be pronounced? 

A. At the ver)^ same time that the water is poured on 
the one to be baptized, and by the same person. 

Q_. 12. And must all the words be pronounced ? 

A. If the words " I baptize," or " thee," or " in the 
name," or any of the Divine Persons were omitted, it 
would be no baptism. 

Q. 13. \\\io are authorised to give the sacrament of 
baptism ? 

A. The bishops and priests of the Church are author- 
ised, in virtue of the priesthood, to administer baptism, 
and deacons, by commission from them, can do the 
same, with all its solemnities ; but in cases of necessity, 
where these cannot be had, any lay person, man or 
woman, is authorised to do it, which also shows the in- 
finite goodness of Jesus Christ, lest any one should be 
deprived of a sacrament so absolutely necessary for sal- 


vation, if the administration of it had been wholly con- 
fined to the ministers of the Church only. 

Section I. 
Of the Effects of Baptism. 

Q. 14. What are the effects of baptism ? 

A. The effects of baptism are these : (i.) It cleanses 
the soul from the guilt of all preceding sins, whether 
original or actual. (2.) It frees us from the eternal 
punishment due to sin, and from all the temporal pun- 
ishment also which the justice of God could command 
for the sins one may have committed before baptism. 
(3.) It adorns the soul with the grace of justification, 
and with all those other graces and virtues which accom- 
pany it; which we have seen above, Chap, xviii. Q. 33. 
(4.) It makes us Christians, imprinting the sacred char- 
acter of a Christian on the soul ; and as a consequence 
of all this, (5.) It regenerates us by a new spiritual birth, 
making us children of God, members of His Church, 
heirs of heaven, and capable of receiving all the other 
sacraments and spiritual benefits which Christ has left in 
His Church, and gives us a right and title to receive 
them as our wants may require, as also to receive the 
necessary helps of actual grace to enable us to live a 
good Christian life, and preserve the sanctity we have 
received in baptism. (6.) It gives us a right and title to 
the kingdom of heaven. 

Q. 15. How can it be shown that baptism washes 
away our sins, and justifies us in the sight of God? 

A. From several strong and plain testimonies of Scrip- 
ture, (i.) St Paul, writing to Titus on this subject, 


speaks thus : " We ourselves, also, were some time un- 
wise, incredulous, erring slaves to divers desires and 
pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating 
one another. But when the goodness and kindness of 
God our Sa\aour appeared, not by the works of justice 
which we have done, but according to His mercy, He 
saved us by the laver of regeneration and renovation of 
the Holy Ghost, Whom He hath poured forth upon us 
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being 
justified by His grace, we may be heirs, according to 
hope, of life everlasting," Tit. iii. 3. In this beautiful 
passage the apostle first acknowledges his former sins, 
then declares that the kindness he had received from 
God, in delivering him from them, was not owing to his 
own merits, but to the free mercy of God ; that the 
means by which he was saved from them was the "laver 
or washing of regeneration," the sacrament of baptism, 
by which he was renewed, by the operation of the Holy 
Ghost, through the merits of Christ, and that by the 
grace received in this laver of regeneration he was 
"justified," and made an heir of life everlasting. (2.) 
"Christ loved His Church," says the same apostle, 
" and delivered Himself for it, that He might sanctify it, 
cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life," 
Eph. V. 25. See here we are assured that Christ died 
for His Church, on purpose that He might cleanse and 
sanctify her by means of the sacrament of baptism, which 
consists in the washing of water, accompanied with the 
word of life, the invocation of the adorable Trinity. (3.) 
At St Peter's first sermon, when the Jews asked him 
what they must do, he made answer, " Do penance, and 
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, 
for the remission of your sins," Acts, ii. 38. (4.) When 
Ananias came to St Paul after his conversion, he said to 


him, '' Rise up and be baptized, and wash away thy sins," 
Acts, xxii. 1 6. (5.) St Peter compares baptism to the 
ark of Noah, and observes that, as the ark saved all those 
who were in it from the water of the Deluge, so " baptism 
being of the like form, saveth you also ; not the putting 
away the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good 
conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ," I Pet. iii. 21, where it is expressly declared that 
we are saved by baptism, through the merits of Christ, 
by washing our conscience towards God. 

Q. 16. In what manner does baptism free us from the 
punishment of sin ? 

A. As baptism is the door by which we enter into the 
fold of Jesus Christ, the first means by which we receive 
the grace of reconciliation with God, therefore the merits 
of His death are by baptism applied to our souls in so 
superabundant a manner as fully to satisfy the Divine 
justice for all demands against us, whether for original 
or actual sin ; and therefore God grants in it a full and 
perfect remission of our past sins, and of all the punish- 
ment due to them. So that though a person had been 
guilty of the most enormous sins, yet if upon his sincere 
repentance he receives the grace of baptism, and should 
die in that happy state, his soul would go at once to 
heaven, having nothing to hinder its entrance into that 
seat of bliss and happiness. And this is the reason why, 
when grown-up persons are baptized, no penitential works 
are imposed upon them, which is one great difference 
between this sacrament and that of penance, in which 
latter, though the guilt and eternal punishment be re- 
mitted, yet a debt of temporal punishment still remains 
to be paid. 

Q. 17. Does baptism free us from the infirmities 


and wounds of our nature occasioned by original sin — 
namely, concupiscence, ignorance, and the like ? 

A. No. These are more the necessary effects of 
original sin than a punishment inflicted for it ; and God 
is pleased not to take them away by the grace of 
baptism, but leaves them, (i.) To humble our pride, by 
the daily experience of our own weakness. (2.) To 
detach our hearts from this world, and make us consider 
it as a place of punishment in which we are exposed to 
so many afflictions from these infirmities of nature. (3.) 
To make us long after heaven, where alone we shall be 
delivered from all our miseries. (4.) To try our fidelity, 
and exercise our virtue in fighting against these internal 
enemies, that by gaining the victory we may increase our 
crown. But baptism is of great advantage to us in this 
battle ; because, by the sacramental grace peculiar to 
baptism, the violence of these enemies is greatly re- 
strained, the ardour of our passions is moderated, and 
copious help is given us to enable us to overcome them. 

Section II. 
Of the Necessity of Baptism. 

Q. 18. Is baptism necessar)' for our salvation ? 

A. It is doubtless the most necessary of all the sacra- 
ments, because without it we are incapable of receiving 
any other sacrament, and because it is ordained by 
Jesus Christ as the only means of receiving the first 
grace of justification, by which alone we can be delivered 
from original sin, and partake of the merits of Christ's 
sufterings, so as to become members of His body. 

Q. 19. How does this appear from Scripture? 


A. From the following testimonies : (i.) Our Saviour, 
in His conversation with Nicodemus, declares, that 
" except a man be born again, he cannot see the king- 
dom of God ; " and a little after He shows how this new 
birth is bestowed upon us ; " Verily, verily, I say to 
thee. Except a man be born again of water and the 
Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God," John, iii. 3, 5. Here we see that this new 
birth, absolutely necessary for salvation, is bestowed 
upon us by water ; that by the use of this outward rite 
the Spirit of God comes to our souls to operate in us 
that spiritual birth ; and that these two, the outward 
rite and the inward regeneration, are, by the appointment 
of God, so connected, that if the rite be not used, the 
new birth will not be bestowed, and that, therefore, 
without that sacred rite of baptism, we can never see the 
kingdom of God, (2.) When our Saviour gave His 
apostles their commission to teach and baptize all 
nations. He immediately adds : " He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not 
shall be condemned," Mark, xvi. 16 ; in which words we 
observe that our Saviour here, in the same breath, com- 
mands the apostles to teach and to baptize all nations ; 
consequently He requires that all nations should believe 
the truths taught by the apostles and be baptized. And 
in fact He promises salvation not to faith alone, but to 
faith and baptism together, which evidently shows the 
necessity of the one as well as of the other. It is true 
in what He adds, " He that believeth not shall be con- 
demned," He mentions faith alone ; but the reason is. 
He is here speaking only of adults, or those who are of 
an age capable of being instructed, in whom actual faith, 
or the positive belief of the truths taught by the apostles, 
is pre-required as a disposition absolutely necessary for 


baptism. The want of baptism, then, is necessarily in- 
cluded in their not believing ; and these words in their 
full sense run thus : He that believeth not, and of conse- 
qicence is not baptised, shall be condem7ied. (3.) The Jews 
who were converted at St Peter's first sermon believed 
what he had delivered to them concerning Jesus Christ, 
and consequently had true faith ; they had also com- 
punction in their hearts — that is, at least a beginning of 
repentance ; but when they asked, " Men and brethren, 
what must we do ? " St Peter answered, " Do penance 
and be baptized every one of you, for the remission of 
your sins," Acts, ii. 38. He saw they believed in Jesus 
Christ, therefore he made no mention of faith, but he 
declares they must give proof of the sincerity of their 
repentance by doing penance for their sins, and then 
apply to baptism as the means ordained by God for 
giving us the grace of justification for the remission of 
our sins, insomuch that where it can be had, neither 
faith nor repentance will suffice without it. St Paul, 
on his conversion, had true faith in Jesus Christ, was 
thoroughly converted, and gave himself up wholly to 
Jesus Christ, saying, " Lord, what wilt Thou have me to 
do ? " continued three days doing penance in praying 
and fasting; and yet, after all this, when Ananias came to 
him, he said, " Arise and be baptized, and wash away 
thy sins," Acts, xxii. 16. In which words is evidently 
shown the absolute necessity of baptism for our justifi- 
cation, and also that neither faith nor repentance, nor 
prayer nor fasting, will suffice without it, where it can 
be had. 

Q. 20. Why do you say ivhere it can he had? Is it 
possible in any case to be justified without baptism ? 

A. Properly speaking, it is impossible to be justified 
without baptism, as all the above texts clearly prove j for 


where it cannot actually be had, it must at least be in 
desire. Now there are two cases in which a man may 
be justified and saved without actually receiving the 
sacrament of baptism ; first, if an infidel should become 
acquainted with the true faith of Christ, and embrace it, 
but in such circumstances that it was not in his power to 
be baptized, notwithstanding his earnest desire of that 
sacrament, if this desire be accompanied with a perfect 
repentance for his sins, founded in the love of God above 
all things, this would supply the want of actual baptism, 
and a person dying in such dispositions would certainly 
be saved. Secondly, If any person shall suffer martyrdom 
for the faith of Christ, before he has been able to receive 
baptism, this will also supply the want of the sacrament. 
In this case the person is baptized in his own blood; in 
the other case, he is said to be baptized in desire. 

Q. 2 1. What becomes of young children who die 
without baptism? 

A. If a young child were put to death for the sake of 
Christ, this would be to it the baptism of blood, and carry 
it to heaven; but, except in this case, as such infants 
are incapable of having the desire of baptism, with the 
other necessary dispositions, if they are not actually 
baptized with water, they cannot go to heaven, our 
Saviour's words being perfectly clear and express, — " Ex- 
cept a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, 
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," John, iii. 5. 
As to what becomes of such unbaptized children, divines 
are divided in their opinions — some say one thing, some 
another ; but as God Almighty has not been pleased to 
reveal it to His Church, we know nothing with certainty 
about it. 

Q. 22. As baptism is of such absolute necessity for 
salvation, can a person receive it more than once? 


A. By no means; and it would be a sacrilege to 
attempt it ; for the great end of baptism is to free us 
from original sin, and make us Christians, imprinting the 
sacred character of a Christian on our souls. Now, when 
we are freed from original sin we are freed from it for 
ever ; when that sacred character of a Christian is im- 
printed on the soul, it remains there for ever, and can 
never be effaced. Therefore the effects of the sacra- 
ment of baptism can never be produced in our soul a 
second time. 

Q. 23. What dispositions are required for receiving 
this sacrament? 

A. In young children no dispositions are required, 
because they are incapable of any ; but in adults, the dis- 
positions required for receiving the graces of baptism are : 
(i.) That the person be willing to receive it; (2.) That 
he have faith in Jesus Christ; and (3.) That he have 
true repentance of his sins. 

Section III. 
0/ the Ceremonies of Baptism. 

Q. 24. What are we to observe in general of the cere- 
monies used in administering the sacrament of baptism ? 

A. Chiefly these three things : (i.) That they are all 
taken from the Holy Scriptures, or from some of the great 
truths of our religion; (2.) That they represent to us 
either the dispositions necessary for receiving baptism 
worthily, the great benefits which this sacrament confers, 
or the obligations we contract by receiving it; and, 
(3.) That the prayers used along with these ceremonies 
all tend to obtain for the person baptized an abundant 


share of the graces of the sacrament, and strength to 
enable him to discharge his obhgations. 

Q. 25. How are these ceremonies divided? 

A. Some go before baptism, some accompany the 
sacramental action, and some follow after it. 

Q. 26. What are the ceremonies that go before bap- 
tism ? and what is their origin and signification ? 

A. Before we explain the ceremonies themselves, we 
must observe that, in places where the Catholic religion 
is established, the water kept in the baptismal font, 
to be used in this sacrament throughout the year, is 
solemnly blessed on the eve of Easter and Pentecost. 
It is blessed on the eve of Easter, because "all we who 
are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death ; 
for we are buried together with Him by baptism unto 
death, that, as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory 
of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life," 
Rom. vi. 3. It is blessed on the eve of Pentecost, 
because it is the Holy Ghost who gives to the waters of 
baptism the power and efficacy of sanctifying our souls, 
and because the baptism of Christ is "with the Holy 
Ghost and with fire," Mat. iii. 11. In blessing these 
waters a lighted torch is put into the font, to represent 
the fire of Divine love which is communicated to the 
soul by baptism, and the light of good example, which all 
who are baptized ought to give ; and holy oil and chrism 
are mixed with the water, to represent the spiritual union 
of the soul with God, by the grace received in baptism, — 
and all this is done by order of the Church, for the 
greater respect, though not necessary for the validity of 
the sacrament. When, then, a person is presented for 
baptism, the priest meets him at the door of the Church, 
to denote that as he is not as yet of the number of the 
faithful, he has no right to enter into that sacred place ; 


and there, after asking what he asks from the Church, 
and telling him the conditions on which the request will 
be granted, he proceeds as follows to prepare him for 
receiving it : — 

(i.) He breathes upon him and says, " Depart from 
him, thou unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Ghost 
the Comforter. This ceremony is taken from the example 
of God Himself, Who, " having formed man of the slime 
of the earth, breathed into his face the breath of life, and 
man became a living soul," Gen. ii. 7 ; and from the ex- 
ample of Jesus Christ, Who, being to communicate to 
His apostles the Holy Ghost, breathed on them and said, 
" Receive ye the Holy Ghost," John, xx. 22. And it 
signifies that by baptism we receive a new and spiritual 
life by grace through the operation of the Holy Ghost, 
Who is given to us, and makes us His temples. 

(2.) He makes the sign of the cross upon his fore- 
head and on his breast, because God ordered all those 
that belonged to Him to have " the mark Than set upon 
their foreheads," Ezek. ix. 4, which is " the sign of the 
living God," Rev. vii. 2, and denotes that the person 
who receives it begins now to be one of the flock of 
Jesus Christ, and will, by the sacrament of baptism, soon 
be admitted to His fold, according to that of our Saviour, 
" Other sheep I have who are not of this fold, them also 
must I bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there 
shall be one fold and one shepherd," John, x. 16. Now 
this sacred sign is placed on the forehead to show that, 
after baptism, we should never be ashamed of the cross 
of Christ, nor afraid to profess His doctrine ; and it is 
placed on the breast, near the heart, to show that we 
ought to love the cross of Christ, and cheerfully submit 
to bear whatever portion of it He shall aftenvards be 
pleased to lay upon us ; being assured that " if we 


suffer Ax-ith Him, we shall also reign with Him," 2 Tim. 
ii. 12. 

(3.) He puts a particle of blessed salt into the person's 
mouth, saying, Receive the salt of wisdom; may it be wito 
thee a propitiatioji unto life everlasting. This ceremony- 
is taken from a command of God in the old law, which 
says, ''Whatsoever sacrifice thou ofiferest, thou shalt 
season it with salt," Levit. ii. 13 ; because salt is an em- 
blem of wisdom or discretion, without which none of 
our performances are agreeable to God ; and Christ Him- 
self says, " Have salt in you," Mark, ix. 49 — meaning 
that heavenly wisdom, of which He says, " Be ye there- 
fore wise as serpents, and simple as doves," Mat. x. 16. 
This ceremony therefore denotes that by baptism we are 
solemnly dedicated and consecrated to God as a sacrifice 
and oblation to His holy will, and that we ought ever 
after to preserve our souls from the corruption of sin by 
the salt of heavenly wisdom, by which alone we ought to 
regulate our whole life and conversation. Now our Savi- 
our proposes the wisdom of the serpent as an emblem of 
the wisdom of a Christian ; because, as that animal (ac- 
cording to St Chrysostom), when pursued by its enemies, 
uses all care to preserve its head, whatever becomes of 
its body, so the wisdom of the Gospel teaches us to be 
only solicitous for the salvation of our souls, and ready to 
part with eveiything rather than lose our souls, accord- 
ing to that of our Saviour, " What will it profit a man to 
gain the Avhole world, and lose his o^\^l soul?" Mark, 
viii. 36. 

(4.) The priest proceeds to the exorcisms, by which, 
in the name of Jesus Christ, and through the merits of 
His death upon the cross (the sign of which is here fre- 
quently made upon the person to be baptized), he com- 
mands the devil to depart from this soul, whom God has 

OF BAPTISM, • 415 

chosen to be admitted to the grace of baptism, and orders 
him to give place to the Holy Ghost, who comes to take 
possession of him and make him His temple. This he 
does in consequence of that power over unclean spirits 
which Jesus Christ left to the pastors of His Church, to 
whom " He gave power over unclean spirits, to cast 
them out," Mat. x. i; or, as St Mark expresses it, "He 
gave them power to cast out devils," Mark, iii. 15; and 
St Luke, " He gave them power and authority over all 
devils," Luke, ix. i. By this means, the person being 
prepared to be admitted into the Church, as one delivered 
in a great measure from the power of Satan, and belong- 
ing to Jesus Christ, the priest introduces him into that 
part of the church where the baptismal font is, saying, 
Enter into the Church of God, that thou niayest have part 
with Christ unto everlasting life. And while they are pro- 
ceeding to the font, the priest, together with the person to 
be baptized (or his godfather and godmother, if he be a 
child), recite, in an audible voice, the Apostle's Creed and 
the Lord's Prayer, to show that it is only by true faith in 
Jesus Christ that we are entitled to enter into His Church 
and become members of His body. 

(5.) Then the priest recites another exorcism, and at 
the end of it touches the ears and nostrils of the person 
to be baptized with a little saliva, saying, Ephphcta, that 
is, Be thou opened into an odour of stceetness ; but be thou put 
to flight, O devil, for the Jiidgjnent of God is at hand. 
This ceremony is taken from the example of Jesus Christ, 
AVho, when they had brought to Him one that was deaf 
and dumb, . . . taking him aside from the multitude, put 
His fingers into his ears, and spitting, touched his tongue, 
and . . . said to him, Ephpheta, that is. Be thou opened ; 
and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of 
his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right," Mark, vii. 32; 


and by it is signified that, as Jesus Christ by this cere- 
mony cured the deaf and dumb man, so by the grace of 
baptism the ears of our soul are opened to hear the 
word of God and the inspirations of His Holy Spirit ; 
and that obeying His holy will, manifested to us by this 
means, we become " an odour of sweetness, an accept- 
able sacrifice, well-pleasing to God," PhiUp. iv. i8; and 
likewise, by our good example, " A good odour of Christ 
in them that are saved, and in them that perish," 2 Cor. 
ii. 15. These are the ceremonies which go before bap- 
tism, and are, as it were, a preparation for it. 

Q. 2 7. What are the ceremonies that accompany the 
sacramental action ? 

A. As baptism is a covenant between God and the 
soul, there are two essential conditions required on our 
part to prepare us for receiving it — to renounce for ever 
the devil and the world, and to adhere to Jesus Christ by 
faith ; wherefore, being now arrived at the sacred font, 
(i.) The person to be baptized (or his godfather and god- 
mother in his name) makes a solemn renunciation of the 
devil, and of all his works and pomps, declaring that he 
renounces for ever the service of the devil, and that he 
detests all the maxims and vanities of the world, which 
are the pomps of the devil, and that he abhors all sins, 
which are his works ; that he embraces the service of 
Jesus Christ, and vows and promises to adhere constantly 
to the maxims and rules of His Gospel, and to continue 
His faithful disciple. This is the sacred obligation in 
which we engage at baptism, this is the solemn promise 
we make, upon the keeping of which our eternal destiny 
so much depends. 

(2.) Then the priests anoint him with holy oil on the 
breast and between the shoulders, making the sign of the 
cross, and saying, / anoint thee with the oil of salvation, in 



Christ Jesus otir Lord, that thou may est have life everlasting. 
This ceremony is taken from the example of what God 
did in the old law, where He commanded that all those 
things which immediately belonged to His service, and 
were to be sanctified and consecrated for that end, should 
be anointed with holy oil ; as is declared in the thirtieth 
and fortieth chapters of Exodus, " And thou shalt con- 
secrate all with the oil of unction, that they may be most 
holy," Exod. xl. 11. Now, the outward unction with oil 
is an emblem of the inward grace of the Holy Ghost, 
which sanctifies the soul ; for, as oil gives light and heat, 
heals wounds, and strengthens weak parts, so the grace 
of the Holy Ghost enlightens the understanding, inflames 
the heart, heals the wounds of the soul, and strengthens 
its weakness. Hence of our Saviour it is said, "that 
God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost," Acts, x. 38. 
And St John says to his disciples, "You have an unction 
from the Holy One, and know all things," i John, ii. 20. 
This ceremony, therefore, signifies that the person who 
is to be baptized, having renounced the devil, and under- 
taken to fight manfully against him, will receive abun- 
dant grace from the Holy Ghost in baptism, to direct 
him in this warfare, to assist and strengthen him against 
all his spiritual enemies ; and, at the same time, is con- 
secrated to God by this holy unction. He is anointed, 
therefore, on the breast, to show that this grace will for- 
tify his breast with courage and resolution ; and between 
the shoulders, to show that the grace of baptism will 
sweeten the yoke of Christ, and make the burden of His 
commands light, easy, and agreeable. 

(3.) The priest interrogates the person to be baptized 
concerning his faith in the blessed Trinity, the incarna- 
tion and death of our Saviour ; because our Saviour says, 
" he that believes and is baptized shall be saved," Mark, 

VOL. I. 2D 


xvi. i6 ; to show that faith is a necessary disposition be- 
fore baptism ; and as children cannot actually have it 
themselves, their godfathers and godmothers answer for 
them, with the obligation of seeing them instructed in 
religion when they come to an age capable of it. Lastly, 
The priest inquires if the person be wiUing to be bap- 
tized, because none can receive baptism against their 
will ; and receiving his consent, he immediately baptizes 
him by performing the sacramental action. 

Q. 28. What are the ceremonies which are used after 
baptism ? 

A. (i.) The new Christian is immediately anointed on 
the crown of the head with holy chrism, in imitation of 
the anointing of kings and priests, by God's command in 
the old law ; and signifies that royal priesthood, to which 
we are raised by baptism, according to that of St Peter, 
" You are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a 
holy nation," i Pet. ii. 9. 

(2.) He is clothed with a white garment, as an em- 
blem of the spotless innocence with which his soul is 
adorned ; and the priest prays that he may carry it un- 
stained before the judgment-seat of Christ. 

(3.) A lighted candle is put into his hand, as an em- 
blem of the light of good example, which he is obliged 
to give by obeying the commands of God, according to 
what our Saviour says, " So let your light shine before 
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify 
your Father who is in heaven," Mat. v. 16. AVhile the 
priest gives him this candle, he exhorts him to keep his 
baptism without reproof, and obey the commands of 
God, that he may be ready when the bridegroom comes 
to enter with him into the marriage chamber. 

(4.) The priest then bids him depart in i:)eace. 


Section IV. 

Of the Godfathers and Godmothers. 

Q. 29. What is the meaning of having godfathers and 
godmothers in baptism ? 

A. It is, (i.) That they may present to the Church 
the person that is to be baptized, and be the witnesses 
of his baptism. (2.) That they may answer in his name 
when the person to be baptized is a child. (3.) That 
they may be sureties to the Church for his performance 
of the promises they make for him ; and, (4.) That they 
may be his instructors in all the duties of a Christian. 
(5.) To give the child's name to the priest. 

Q. 30. How many godfathers and godmothers should 
there be ? 

A. One godfather for a boy, and one godmother for a 
girl is sufficient ; or, at most, one godfather and one 
godmother for one person to be baptized. 

Q. 31. What qualifications are required in those who 
are chosen for this office ? 

A. That a person be proper for this office, it is neces- 
sary, (i.) That he be a member of the Church, other- 
wise he cannot be fit for bringing up the child in the true 
faith. (2.) That he be sufficiently instructed in his reli- 
gion and in Christian doctrine, otherwise he cannot be 
able to teach it to another. (3.) That he lead a Chris- 
tian life, free from any public scandal, otherwise his ex- 
ample will destroy, instead of edifying, the child to whom 
he is godfather. 

Q. 32. What are the obligations of the godfathers and 
godmothers ? 


A. Chiefly these : (i.) To see that their child be in- 
structed in Christian doctrine, and to supply any defect 
in this respect, on the part of his natural parents, caused 
either by death or negligence. (2.) To watch over his 
morals when he begins to grow up, and encourage him 
by their good advices and admonitions, to live a pious 
Christian life, and to fulfil the sacred promises they 
made in his name in baptism. 

Q. 33. What kindred do they contract by being god- 
fathers and godmothers ? 

A. They contract a spiritual kindred, both with the 
child and its natural parents, which is an impediment to 
marriage with them ; and the same is contracted in the 
sacrament of confirmation. 




Q. I. TT THAT is the end or design for which 
V V confirmation was ordained ? 

A. The design of the sacrament of confirmation is to 
perfect and complete the sanctification received in bap- 
tism, by bringing down the Holy Ghost in a more parti- 
cular manner to dwell in our souls, to fortify and confirm 
us in our faith, and enable us more effectually to resist 
all the enemies of our souls. 

Q. 2. Can this be explained by any example ? 

A. It is most fitly explained by the example of the 
holy apostles ; for though they had been for three years 
in the school of Jesus Christ, had enjoyed His blessed 
company, seen His holy example, and been witnesses of 
His miracles ; and although, during all that time. He 
had instructed them, both in public and private, in the 
truths of His Gospel ; yet it is surprising to see how im- 
perfect they still were, how little they understood the 
great truths He had revealed to them, and how much 
less they practised the lessons He had given them. 
Insomuch that, even at the Last Supjier, " there was a 
strife amongst them, which of them should seem to be 
greater," Luke, xxii. 24, notwithstanding all the lessons 
of humility He had given them ; and so far were they 


from profiting by His instructions about suffering for His 
sake, that when He was taken in the garden, " they all for- 
sook Him and fled away," Mat. xxvi. 56. And a little 
after St Peter himself denied Him, and cursed and swore 
he knew Him not. All this shows how imperfect they 
still were ; and the reason is, that the Holy Ghost had 
not yet come down upon them. But as soon as they re- 
ceived this Divine Spirit on Pentecost, they immediately 
became new men ; their minds were enlightened to un- 
derstand all that their blessed Master had taught them ; 
their hearts were inflamed with a most ardent love for 
Him, and a zeal for His honour and glory ; the grace of 
this Holy Spirit " endowed them with a power from on 
high," Luke, xxiv. 49, which confirmed them in all good, 
and enabled them, in a most wonderful manner, cheer- 
fully to undergo all dangers, to overcome all difficulties, 
and to suffer all torments, for the sake of their Lord and 
Master, so as even to " rejoice that they were accounted 
worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus," Acts, 
V. 41. By which we see that the sanctification of our 
souls is, in a special manner, the work of the Holy 
Ghost. Now, as we are called, by our very vocation 
as Christians, to be saints, and to be perfect, according 
to that of our Saviour, " Be you perfect, as also your 
heavenly Father is perfect," Mat. v. 48, therefore our 
blessed Redeemer was pleased of His infinite goodness 
to institute the holy sacrament of confirmation, as the 
never-failing means in His Church of communicating 
His Divine Spirit to His followers, to confirm them in 
His service, and enable them to attain the sanctity and 
perfection required of them. 

Q. 3. Is confirmation a true sacrament? 

A. It is ; because it has all the three things necessary 
to constitute a sacrament. 


Q. 4. What is the outward sensible sign used in con- 
firmation ? 

A. Taking the whole of it, as laid down in the Holy- 
Scriptures, it consists of three things: (i.) The bishop, to 
whom alone it belongs to give confirmation, stretching 
out his hands over those that are to be confirmed, prays 
for them all in general, that the Holy Ghost may come 
down upon them with his sevenfold graces. (2.) Coming 
to each one in particular, he lays his hand upon him ; 
and, (3.) at the same time anoints his forehead with holy 
chrism in the form of the cross, saying these words, " I 
sign thee with the sign of the cross, I confirm thee with 
the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 5. Where do we find in Scripture that this outward 
action is instituted by Jesus Christ, to be the means of 
bringing the Holy Ghost to our souls ? 

A. In the Acts of the Apostles, we are told that when 
St Philip the deacon had, by his preachings and miracles, 
converted the Samaritans, " they were baptized, both 
men and women," Acts, viii. 12, which, when the 
apostles who were at Jerusalem had heard, " they sent to 
them Peter and John ; who, when they were come, they 
(i.) prayed for them that they might receive the Holy 
Ghost . . . then, (2.) They laid their hands upon them, 
and they received the Holy Ghost," ver. 14. In which 
passage we see that prayer and the laying on of hands 
were the outward means used by these apostles for com- 
municating the Holy Ghost ; prayer as a preparation, 
and the laying on of hands as the immediate means ap- 
pointed for that purpose. 

Q. 6. Where do we find the anointing and confirming? 

A. The Scripture speaking upon any subject does 
not always mention every circumstance relating to it in 


one place, but sometimes one circumstance, sometimes 
another ; and it is by collecting these different passages 
together that we possess the whole. St Paul, speaking 
of this sacrament in his Epistle to the Corinthians, de- 
scribes it thus : "Now He that confirmeth us with you in 
Christ, and He that hath anointed us is God, Who hath 
also sealed us, and given the pledge of the Spirit in 
our hearts," 2 Cor. i. 21. In which words he mentions 
both the confirming and the anointing us, and also the 
sealing us, or the sacred character which this sacrament 
imprints in our souls ; and at the same time he declares 
that all this is the work of God — that is, that God is 
the author of it. From these tw^o passages we have 
the whole of this sacrament explained to us, both as 
to the outward action as above described, and the in- 
ward grace, or the sacred effects which it produces in 
the soul. 

Q. 7. What are the effects of the sacrament of confir- 
mation ? 

A. (i.) It brings down the Holy Ghost in a particu- 
lar manner to our souls with all His gifts and graces, 
increasing the justification of our souls, and making us 
more pure and holy in the eyes of God ; see above, 
Chap, viii., Q. 34, 35. (2.) It confirms and strengthens 
us in our holy faith, and enables us to profess it before 
tyrants and persecutors, and to fight manfully against all 
the enemies of our souls, so as to bear all the crosses and 
trials of this life with Christian meekness and humility, 
after the example of Jesus. (3.) It imprints a sacred 
character or seal on the soul, which shows that we have 
been confirmed, and, as it were, enlisted in the service of 
Jesus Christ, to fight under His banner against all His 
and our enemies ; and therefore, as is the case in 
baptism, this sacrament can never be received more 


than once, because this character once received can 
never be effaced. 

Q. 8. As confirmation brings down the Holy Ghost 
to sanctify our souls, do all that receive confirmation 
become saints? 

A. Happy would it be, indeed, for the world if this 
were the case ; but, alas ! this happens but too seldom : 
and the reason is that, in order to become a saint, two 
things are required — the assistance of the Holy Ghost, 
and our co-operation. Both these are absolutely neces- 
sary. Without the Divine assistance we can do nothing 
towards our salvation; and though Almighty God should 
bestow His chosen graces upon us, if we resist them, or 
do not co-operate with them, we shall never advance 
a single step towards Christian perfection. Hence St 
Paul says, " Not I, but the grace of God with me," 
I Cor. XV. 10; not I alone, nor the grace of God alone, 
but " the grace of God with me," the grace of God assist- 
ing, and I co-operating. Now, in the sacrament of con- 
firmation God Almighty does His part ; He gives us 
His Holy Spirit, with all the graces necessary to enable 
us to become saints if we co-operate with them ; and if 
few become saints, even after receiving these graces, the 
fault is entirely our own, because we do not profit by 
them as we might. And, alas ! how few make the 
proper use of them I 

Q. 9. How is the outward action of confirmation a 
sign of the grace received ? 

A. The imposition of hands represents the communi- 
cation of the Holy Ghost to the soul, and the anointing 
the forehead with holy chrism represents the nature and 
plenitude of the grace received by the internal unction 
of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. 10. How so? 


A. The chrism is a sacred ointment, composed of oil 
of olives, and balm of Gilead, solemnly blessed by the 
bishop on holy Thursday. The oil represents the 
fulness of the grace received; both because, as oil, when 
dropped upon anything, spreads itself upon it, and 
insinuates itself into all its parts, so the grace of this 
holy sacrament penetrates into the soul, and diffuses 
itself throughout all her powers ; and also, because oil, 
being a mild substance, represents that spirit of meekness 
and patience under the cross, which is one of the principal 
effects of confirmation. At the same time, as balm has 
the peculiar property of preserving bodies after death 
from putrefaction, it fitly represents the fortifying grace 
received in confirmation, by which our souls are pre- 
served from the corruption of sin, after our sins have 
been destroyed by the sacrament of baptism. 

Q. II. Do all receive an equal grace in the sacrament 
of confirmation ? 

A. The sacred character imprinted on the soul by con- 
firmation is the same in all ; but the other graces are 
given in proportion to the designs which God has in 
view for the person who receives this sacrament, and to 
the dispositions with which he comes to receive it. 

Q. 12. What are the dispositions necessary for receiv- 
ing confirmation worthily ? 

A. These three : (i.) That the receiver be sufficiently 
instructed, according to his age and capacity, in the 
necessary knowledge of Christian doctrine ; (2.) That 
he be in the state of grace ; and, (3.) That beforehand 
he spend some time in prayer. 

Q. 13. Why must he be insti^ucted in his Christian 
doctrine ? 

A. Because without this he cannot have a proper sense 
of what he is doing, nor conceive those devout affections 


towards God which dispose the soul for receiving the 
grace of the sacrament. Besides, all are bound to acquire 
a knowledge of the essential and necessary truths of re- 
ligion according to their age and capacity. 

Q. 14. Why must he be in the state of grace? 

A. Because the Scripture assures us that " the Holy 
Spirit of W'isdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor 
dwell in a body subject to sins," Wis. i. 4; and there- 
fore it would be a grievous sacrilege were a person, know^- 
ing himself to be in a state of sin, to presume to receive 
this sacrament without taking the necessary measures to 
put his soul into the state of grace, and be reconciled 
with God. 

Q. 15. Why should he spend some time beforehand 
in prayer? 

A. For two reasons: (i.) From the example of the 
apostles, who, during the ten days between the ascension 
of our Lord and the coming of the Holy Ghost on Pente- 
cost, " continued with one accord in prayer Avith the 
women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His 
brethren," Acts, i. 14. Now, if the apostles, by the par- 
ticular inspiration of God, employed themselves in prayer 
to prepare themselves for the coming of the Holy Ghost, 
how much more ought we? (2.) Because our Saviour 
has assured us that our " Father from heaven will give 
His good Spirit to them that ask it," Luke, xi. 13. See 
also above. Chap, viii., Q. t,6. 

Q. 1 6. What are the best prayers for this purpose ? 

A. The hymns and prayers appointed by the Church 
for invoking the Holy Ghost, and for begging His grace, 
contained in manuals and other books of devotion. 

Q. 17. Is confirmation necessary for salvation ? 

A. It is not absolutely necessary, yet it would cer- 
tainly be a sin to neglect to receive it when one can 


have it, especially if, by neglecting a present occasion, a 
person exposes himself to the danger of being deprived 
of the sacrament ; and still more if he be exposed to 
temptations and persecutions on account of his holy 
religion ; and it would be a very grievous sin if one 
should neglect it out of disregard or contempt. 

Q. 1 8. What are the ceremonies used in confirmation ? 

A. Besides those used in the sacramental action, there 
are these following : — 

(i.) The anointing of the forehead is made by the sign 
of the cross, to show that, being now confirmed in the 
service of Jesus Christ, and enlisted as His soldiers, we 
ought never to be ashamed of our Master's livery, but 
boldly profess ourselves disciples of a crucified Saviour, 
and members of His Church, in spite of all that the 
worl_d can do against us, either by ridicule or persecu- 
tion ; being mindful of His words, " Whosoever shall be 
ashamed of Me and of My words, in this adulterous and 
sinful generation, the Son of Man shall be ashamed of 
him when He shall come in the glory of His Father with 
the holy angels," Mark, viii. 38. 

(2.) Immediately after confirmation the bishop gives the 
person confi7-med a little blow on the cheek, to teach him that, 
being now a soldier of Jesus Christ, he must manfully 
fight against all His enemies, and bear with meekness and 
patience all crosses, persecutions, and trials, for the sake 
and glory of his Lord and Master. 

(3.) In giving him this little blow, the bishop says. 
Peace be with you, to teach him that the only way to true 
peace in this world, as Avell as in the next, is to suffer 
patiently for Christ's sake, and also to encourage him to 
do so from the hopes of the reward, according to our 
Lord's promise, " Learn of Me, for I am meek and 


humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls," 
Mat. xi. 29. 

(4.) The person confirmed takes a new name, which 
ought to be the name of some saint, whom he chooses 
for his particular patron, and whose virtuous example he 
ought to strive to imitate. 

(5.) The person confirmed has one godfather, if a boy, 
and one godmother, if a girl, of whom the same things 
are to be observed as of those in baptism. 



By the Bull Ineffabilis Detis, dated 8th December 1854, 
the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was solemnly 
defined : — 

" It is a dogma of faith that the most blessed Virgin 
Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular 
privilege and grace of God, in view of the merits of Jesus 
Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt 
from all stain of original sin." — Ed. 


In the constitution Pastor ALtcrnjis, dated 18th July 
1870, our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX., with the approval of 
the Sacred Council of the Vatican, thus solemnly teaches 
and defines, as a dogma divinely revealed, the infallibility 
of the Roman Pontiffs : — 

" We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed, 
that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra — that 
is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all 
Christians, by virtue of his apostolic authority, he defines a 
doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal 
Church — by the Divine assistance promised to him in bles- 
sed Peter, enjoys that infallibility with which the Divine 
Redeemer wished that His Church be provided for defining 


doctrine regarding faith or morals ; and that, therefore, such 
definitions of the Roman Pontiffs are irreformable of them- 
selves, and not from the consent of the Church. 

" But if any one — which may God avert — presume to con- 
tradict this our definition, let him be anathema." — Ed. 


In consequence of an application made to the congrega- 
tion de Propaganda Fide, by the Right Rev. the Vicars 
Apostolic of Scotland, the Holy Father, Pope Gregory XVI., 
by a Rescript, dated the 28th day of June 1831, granted to 
the Catholics of Scotland a Dispensation from Abstinence 
on all Saturdays throughout the year that are not fasting- 
days. — Ed. 



i ■-'